U of U server outage brings down hospital, campus, UTA systems

Aug 22, 2023, 10:54 PM | Updated: Aug 23, 2023, 12:12 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A server outage downtown was felt across the University of Utah campus and hospital system in Salt Lake City Tuesday, and across Utah Transit Authority Frontrunner and Trax stations.

The outage took down crucial programs for U of U staff, students, and U of U Health. 

One couldn’t tell from the outside of the hospital Tuesday evening, because everything looked business as usual. But inside, doctors and nurses had to write down everything with pen and paper, with no access to the computer systems.

The hospital was diverting people away to other medical facilities because of it.

“We’re not going to be accepting any emergent cases for the moment,” said Suzanne Winchester, associate director of PR and communications at U of U Health.

She said staff began experiencing issues around 3 pm.

“Both U of U Health and University of Utah started to notice that communication systems were not working. So that’s kind of broad-based systems around both of our institutions,” she explained.

A University of Utah spokesperson explained on the phone that a downtown server went into automatic shut-down as employees were adjusting the humidity in the server room to compensate for the extra humidity outdoors.

It became too much for the servers to handle, causing the outage. UTA said that they use those same servers. Frontrunner and Trax station signs went dark and could not display information, however, all lines still ran normally.

The SafeUT app also stopped functioning but was back online at 9 pm.

A long list of services across campus were disrupted, from email to Canvas. Students on campus told KSL TV it didn’t impact them too much because it was only the second day of school, so they had not yet been assigned coursework to complete.

The IT team initiated a total restart, the servers were still down for campus and the hospital Tuesday night.


A list of services disrupted during Tuesday’s outage at the University of Utah (University of Utah)


“Ambulances and emergency crews are not going to be coming in until this issue is resolved,” Winchester said.

Instead, emergency cases were diverted to other area hospitals, including medical helicopters.

Doctors and nurses reverted back to keeping track of everything by hand, with no computer access. 

Which takes longer, but Winchester said, didn’t disrupt any patient care.

“This is something that we plan for and that we practice for,” she said. “It sounds big and it sounds catastrophic, but I just think it’s important to remember this is the way that we used to work all the time. So, we’re ready for when this happens.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, talking about the proposed changes that are happening to downt...

Carole Mikita and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This plan is ambitious’: Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson talks about the revitalization of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson spoke to KSL TV about all the proposed changes that could hit downtown Salt Lake City.

9 hours ago

A silhouetted man sitting in a chair on a phone call....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

New federal data shows favorite methods of scammers targeting Utahns

Over 26,200 Utahns reported getting hit by fraud to the Federal Trade Commission last year. And one out of five of those Utahns lost money to imposters.

10 hours ago

The Salt Lake City Police Department is releasing the Utah driver license photo of Jordan Gonzales ...

Carlysle Price

SLCPD requested help finding a missing, at-risk man

The Salt Lake City Police Department said they are looking for information about a missing, at-risk man.

10 hours ago

Odin Meacham, a 30-year-old man from Duchesne County, was found guilty Monday on assaulting officer...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah man convicted of assaulting law enforcement at US Capitol on Jan. 6

A man from Utah has been found guilty of seven felonies for actions at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

11 hours ago

A Utah DPS helicopter helping Salt Lake County Search and Rescue getting a hiker off a mountain aft...

Michael Houck

A pair of Utah treasure hunters needed rescuing after getting hurt

Two hikers needed help getting off Lookout Peak after one hurt their leg while looking for treasure on Sunday morning. 

11 hours ago

Officials obtained video footage from Orem Recreation Center, and needs help identifying this suspe...

Carlysle Price and Brianna Chavez. KSL TV

Police working to identify Orem Recreation Center sexual assault suspect

Officials reported a man sexually assaulted someone at The Orem Recreation Center Wednesday afternoon. Police said they need help identifying the suspect.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

U of U server outage brings down hospital, campus, UTA systems