U of U Health opens more coronavirus testing facilities in northern Utah

Mar 24, 2020, 5:53 AM | Updated: 6:04 am
Free COVID-19 testing on Saturday aimed at testing Utah's underserved communities Utahns...
Hospital employees take swabs from people at an appointment-only drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility set up outside University of Utah Health’s South Jordan Health Center on Friday, March 13, 2020. Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

WASATCH FRONT – The number of people who can be access testing for COVID-19 coronavirus is going to go way up in Utah.  The University of Utah and ARUP Laboratories are opening more drive-up testing centers, and they say more centers are coming soon.

Hospital officials announced four centers are now open in Salt Lake and Davis counties.  University of Utah Health CEO Dr. Michael Good says drive-up testing facilities are placed in their Sugarhouse, Farmington, South Jordan and Redwood facilities, and they’re planning to open another in Park City by the end of the week.  Collectively, these centers can handle 1,500 tests, per day, and officials are working to make them be able to handle even more patients.

Good says, “It continues to add instrumentation and anticipates a capacity of more than 3,000 COVID tests a day.”

However, Good says that increase depends on their supply lines staying steady.  Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Richard Orlandi, says patients are still being asked to call ahead of time, so people at emergency rooms and hospitals aren’t exposed to the virus.

“The whole process is done while the patient is in the car.  It preserves our ability to use a smaller amount of personal protective equipment and also minimizes the inconvenience to our patient,” Orlandi says.

However, even though more coronavirus testing in Utah will become available, some people will be turned away.  Doctor Kim Hansen with ARUP says they’re focusing their testing on people already hospitalized and people showing serious symptoms.

“We are looking closely at respiratory symptoms, though… cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing,” Hansen says.  “Those who are asymptomatic will not qualify for testing.  For those with mild cold-like symptoms, there will be some clinician judgment used at the time.”


Utah cases of coronavirus spikes to 257 in one day

Utah K-12 schools, colleges extend dismissal to May; distance learning continues where possible

Utah COVID-19 questions: State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavurus Q&A Ask your questions to the experts every day from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.

State of Utah:

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


Today’s Top Stories


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  The U.S. Capitol is shown as a looming government shutdown threatens ...
Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Defense bill likely to include end to military Covid vaccine mandate, source says

A massive bill setting defense policy is likely to end the military Covid vaccine mandate, a source familiar with the negotiations tells CNN.
1 day ago
A burrow is among the items an adopted desert tortoise needs. Photo by Utah Division of Wildlife Re...
Mia Alberti, Lianne Kolirin and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Jonathan the tortoise, world’s oldest land animal, celebrates his 190th birthday

The South Atlantic island of St. Helena is celebrating the birthday of the world's oldest living land animal -- a Seychelles giant tortoise called Jonathan, who is turning 190.
3 days ago
The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess a ...
Carma Hassan, CNN

Children’s painkillers in high demand as respiratory illnesses rise

The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess the situation.
3 days ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
4 days ago
Super agers have been identified by researchers as men and women over age 80 that have the cognitiv...
Curt Gresseth

SuperAgers — who are they, are you one, and can you become one?

SuperAgers are men and women older than 80 with the mental faculties of people decades younger.
5 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jackson

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water released this week

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water was released Wednesday by Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
U of U Health opens more coronavirus testing facilities in northern Utah