HEALTH

U of U switching to appointment only COVID-19 testing, saying demand for tests is sky high

Sep 25, 2020, 6:35 PM
(Credit: U of U Health)
(Credit: U of U Health)

SALT LAKE CITY – As the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases goes up, the demand for testing is also skyrocketing.  Officials at University of Utah Health say the demand has become so severe, they’re going to have to administer these tests by appointment only.

Imagine this scenario.  You get in your car to drive to a COVID-19 facility to be tested.  You see a line of cars around the building.  You wait, possibly up to three hours to get to the front of the line, and when you get there… the technicians tell you that you don’t meet the criteria to be tested.

(A line of cars waiting for COVID-19 testing at a center in South Jordan. Credit: U of U Health)

University of Utah Health Nursing Supervisor Natalie Cuthbert says it’s a frustrating scenario that’s happening all too often for many people.

Cuthbert says, “When they get to the tent, itself, and they interact with staff, it’s heartbreaking to have to say, ‘I’m so sorry, but you don’t qualify for testing.’”

She says this frustration rubs off on the hospital staff, many of which have been out in the heat for hours themselves.  However, she says by switching to an appointment-only system they can eliminate unnecessary waiting and do a better job of weeding out patients who may not be eligible for the test.  Cuthbert says the patients already have enough to worry about even if they do qualify.

“Not only are they scared and not only are they anxious, but they’ve been sitting in their cars for several hours,” she says.

(A staffer at the U of U Redwood COVID-19 testing center. Credit: U of U Health)

This new scheduling system goes into effect starting Monday, and health officials are concerned there will be a lot of confusion about it.  Until now, they haven’t had to turn anyone away but that will change if people don’t make their appointment.

Doctor Richard Orlandi says, We need to make a change so we can better care for our patients, our community and those seeking testing.”

Doctors believe they will still be able to test the same number of people as before, but this system will be more efficient.  Orlandi says the virus is affecting their employees just as much as the rest of the community, and their resources are so strained, they can’t expand the testing.

“We are being affected by some if our employees having to stay home because of symptoms, a family member that’s ill or for quarantine reasons.  So, we are finding it difficult to expand the testing to keep up with the demand,” he says.

People can make an appointment through MyChart, the MyChart app or they can go the University’s COVID-19 website.

 

RELATED LINKS

Utah coronavirus cases hit 1,411 in one day, setting new record

“Ronalert” social media campaign aims to get young adults to mask up

Draper Park Middle School to close, transition to online classes for two weeks

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
2 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
5 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
5 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
6 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
7 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

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...
Sorenson

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...
Macey's

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
U of U switching to appointment only COVID-19 testing, saying demand for tests is sky high