Utah has ‘maxed out’ its COVID-19 testing capacity, which could mask the full surge in cases | ParkRecord.com

Utah has ‘maxed out’ its COVID-19 testing capacity, which could mask the full surge in cases

If recent record-breaking case counts continue to rise, we may not know it, health officials say

Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake Tribune
A lengthy line of vehicles forms at the mobile COVID-19 testing location in the Park City High School parking lots late last month. There is a massive demand for coronavirus testing in Utah, straining the state's capacity.
Park Record file photo

With more than 48,000 Utahns tested for the coronavirus in a single day this week, Utah has exceeded its testing capacity, health officials confirmed.

Unless the state can obtain more testing supplies and providers, future case counts — while record-breaking — could drastically understate the actual prevalence of the virus.

“We’ve maxed out our ability to identify cases,” Dr. Angela Dunn, director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, said in a county council meeting Tuesday. “So as we start seeing a potential plateau in our cases, it’s not due to spread, it’s due to the limited ability to test. We are turning people away from our testing sites.”

The Utah Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed that Dunn’s appraisal is likely accurate. As case counts rose over the past week, test volumes stabilized at around 41,000 to 44,000 tests per day, said Tom Hudachko, UDOH spokesman.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state. For more, read the full story at sltrib.com.

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