Two COVID-19 testing sites now open in Summit County, including one for people without a doctor’s order
Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health are both offering testing to patients who exhibit symptoms of the novel coronavirus even without a doctor’s order. They ask patients to call before heading to a testing site.
COVID-19 information: 844-442-5224 or the Symptom Tracker App at IntermountainHealthcare.org.
Three testing sites in the Wasatch Back:
• Park City InstaCare, 1750 Sidewinder Drive
• Heber Valley InstaCare, 1485 U.S. 40 Suite G, Heber
• Drive-through site near the Park City Ice Arena, 600 Gillmor Way*
* This clinic is open to patients who do not have a doctor’s order, though officials ask patients to call before arriving.
University of Utah Health
COVID-19 information: 801-587-0712 for an initial screening.
Drive-up evaluations for COVID-19 will take place Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following locations:
• Sugar House Health Center, 1280 E. Stringham Ave., Salt Lake City
• Redwood Health Center, 1525 2100 S., Salt Lake City
• South Jordan Health Center, 5126 W. Daybreak Pkwy., South Jordan
• Farmington Health Center, 165 N. University Ave., Farmington
On March 16, the World Health Organization’s director-general laid out a simple directive to those fighting the coronavirus pandemic: “Test, test, test.”
Wasatch Back health care providers have been working to increase their testing capabilities, which now include a drive-through testing site where a doctor’s order is not required for a patient to receive a test.
Intermountain Healthcare started testing patients suspected of having COVID-19 March 13 at its Park City InstaCare Clinic in Prospector. On March 19, the health care provider opened a drive-through testing location at Quinn’s Junction near the Park City Hospital. That location is now open to anyone with symptoms of the disease, whether they have a doctor’s order or not.
And University of Utah Health announced Monday its intention to open a testing site in the Park City-area, though details on the location and timing were not immediately available.
A University of Utah Health spokesperson said its four screening sites in the Wasatch Front are open to all patients with symptoms.
Both health care providers encourage people seeking tests to call their respective hotlines before heading to a testing site.
Testing is ramping up in the area, something officials say is critical to effectively fight the disease that’s killing people across the globe. On Sunday, officials announced the first death in Utah.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, has said the most effective way to prevent the disease’s spread and save lives is to break the chain of transmission, which is accomplished by determining who has the disease by testing and isolating those people and the people they have contacted.
“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected,” Ghebreyesus said. “We have a simple message for all countries: Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”
In the U.S., that has not been possible, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set strict guidelines on who could be tested to most effectively use the limited resources available.
Now that test production efforts are ramping up, there is hope that increased testing will provide enough data to guide mitigation efforts. Last Thursday, State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn said 1,526 people in the state had been tested for the novel coronavirus to date, a figure she said was likely lower than the actual total. As of Monday, that number had jumped to 5,048.
Utah’s population is estimated to be more than 3.2 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Health care officials, including Dunn, have said that drastic and sweeping containment measures like forced closures of businesses are partially a result of insufficient data.
“Without that widespread knowledge (which would be gained through testing), we have to implement public health interventions on a larger scale such as mass gathering restrictions,” Dunn said Thursday. “That’s what we’re doing now is implementing these school closures, mass-gathering restrictions statewide in order to ensure that those who might have mild symptoms and aren’t tested for COVID-19 aren’t able to spread it to others.”
University of Utah Health officials indicated it has the capacity to test 1,500 people daily with the goal to double that in coming weeks.
The goal is to get results within 48 hours, while tests done on high-priority patients like health care workers could come back within 24 hours.
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