Utah health officials warn Utahns to expect long COVID-19 testing lines
SALT LAKE CITY — Expect long lines if you head out to seek a COVID-19 test on Monday, Utah Department of Health officials warned after a busy weekend at testing sites.
Hours-long lines reported at COVID-19 testing sites
At one site in Salt Lake City on Sunday, a KSL reporter observed people waiting four hours or longer in lines for COVID-19 testing after the Christmas holiday.
In a statement, the health department said closed sites on Saturday led to increased demand on Sunday.
All testing sites were closed on Saturday in observance of the Christmas holiday, which led to increased demand at sites that were open Sunday. Visitors to the testing site at the Cannon Health Building experienced particularly long waits, and for that we apologize. We have adjusted operations in anticipation of continued high demand, especially at the Cannon Building. This location offers testing for travelers, and we suggest if you do not need a rapid test for travel-related purposes you should visit one of our other testing sites. You can find a full list of sites and hours at coronavirus.utah.gov.
Monday, several of the health department’s official COVID-19 testing sites featured lines that stretched around the corner and beyond. In Herriman, drivers waited more than 90 minutes for testing. While they waited, a test site employee made the rounds between vehicles offering boxed “rapid” tests to anyone who couldn’t wait.
Latest COVID-19 numbers in Utah
Also on Monday, health officials reported 4,607 more Utahns tested positive for COVID-19 over the long holiday weekend. That included 1,479 cases on Dec. 23, 1,316 new cases on Dec. 24, 1,221 on Christmas Day, and 629 on Dec. 26.
Of those cases, the health department said 544 occurred among children ages 5 to 17. They also reported the deaths of 16 more Utahns from COVID-19.
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, 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.
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
- 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).
- Obtain a flu shot.
- Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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