Park City coronavirus-testing lines leave some ‘irate and aggressive,’ prompting police reports
The Park City Police Department has at least twice been contacted by people at the Quinn’s Junction location where Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health are testing people for the novel coronavirus, a sign of the continuing tension in the community amid the spread of the illness and the subsequent shutdown of commerce in an effort to halt the transmission.
Neither of the cases appeared to be serious, but at least one of them illustrated the anxiety caused by the spread. The outside of the Park City Ice Arena is one of the Park City area’s testing locations. There have been steady numbers arriving there for tests in recent days.
In one of the cases, reported to the police at 12:36 p.m. on Saturday, workers requested an officer be present as the testing continued, according to Police Department logs. The police were told the people were “becoming irate and aggressive,” the logs indicated. The people were unhappy with what were described as long lines for testing, according to the Police Department.
In the other case, a health care worker at 12:22 p.m. on Sunday asked that an officer be present “due to the long lines” at the testing area.
The case on Saturday is especially notable with the report of people becoming unhappy at the testing location. There have been lines at times at the location, but it was not clear before then that the wait time was upsetting to that degree. Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said officers were stationed at the testing location prior to the calls.
“There was quite a long line for several days,” Kirk said, adding, “There were people who were getting frustrated with the length of time.” Kirk said there was a “natural frustration for waiting in a long line” as people sought the tests.
“Long lines. People hadn’t anticipated that,” he said.
The Police Department said it did not have to intervene in any issues involving the people who were waiting for the tests outside the ice arena. Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health offer testing outside the ice arena from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There have been consistent crowds seeking the tests.
A spokesperson for Intermountain Healthcare said there was “a slight uptick” in the number of people who sought the testing outside the ice arena over the weekend. The precise number was not made public. The spokesperson said the workers responded well to the increased number of people “and things ran smoothly.”
Security personnel from Park City Hospital were at the scene in addition to the police, the spokesperson said.
Health care officials encourage people to call a hotline prior to heading to the ice arena. The number is 1-801-442-5224. Calling is not mandatory, but it could save time at the testing location, the spokesperson said. More information about the testing is available on the Intermountain Healthcare website. The address is: intermountainhealthcare.org/covid19-coronavirus/get-testing.
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