COVID-19-UTAH RESPONSE

Health officials will significantly ‘ramp down’ the number of COVID-19 tests they offer

Mar 30, 2022, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters. Photo: Paul Nelson, March 30, 2022)
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters. Photo: Paul Nelson, March 30, 2022)

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s good news and bad news about Utah’s COVID-19 picture.  Health officials say the number of new cases and hospitalizations is on the decline, but the Utah Department of Health will ramp down the number of COVID tests being offered to the public.

Ramp down COVID tests

The latest rolling seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Utah is 114 per day, with 133 new cases being reported Wednesday.  With these numbers dropping, health officials have announced they are significantly decreasing the number of COVID-19 tests they’re going to administer.  Health officials say at the end Thursday, essentially all state-sponsored testing at their sites will stop.  Officials say some sites will become privately run, while others will be reserved for low-income Utahns.

“I think we’ll have a couple different venues and opportunities for low-income individuals and communities to continue to get tested in this ‘steady state’ environment,” said UDOH Executive Director Nate Checketts.

If cases go up, so will testing

He says the state will ramp up testing if they see another spike in cases. However, he believes more Utahns have a higher level of protection against the virus than before.  However, with the free tests being discontinued, people will have to arrange their own tests. Travelers will have to plan ahead.

Checketts said, “We’ve generally seen the cost, depending on test type, have ran from around $60 to $250.”

Officials are also discontinuing their daily COVID-19 updates, opting to release their latest numbers once a week.  State Epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen says they still have effective ways to monitor COVID-19 trends across the state, including hospitalizations and wastewater research.  She says people should still prepare for more cases to spread into Utah.

Nolen said, “I think we all expect there will be additional waves.  We will have new variants of COVID coming through and our communities will need to be aware of that.”

Plus, she believes too few Utahns have received their vaccination booster shots.

“We have under 30 percent of our population boosted, and we know that’s really important to protect,” Nolen said.

She says the state is also changing how they examine COVID-19 related deaths, opting to use death certificates to evaluate them.  Nolen says the state’s medical examiner has re-examined their death certificate records and have found only 73 deaths were accidentally attributed to COVID-19.

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19-Utah response

BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
4 days ago
Flags are ordered to be lowered...
Amie Schaeffer

Flags lowered to honor lives lost to COVID-19

In accordance with an order from President Biden, Gov. Cox authorized flags lowered through May 16. The order is meant to honor lives lost to the virus.
5 days ago
Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
Chandler Holt

Masks no longer required in national parks

Since a federal judge struck down the CDC's transportation mask mandate, guests in national parks can choose if they'd like to wear a mask or not.
27 days ago
Photo of two 'mask required' signs...
Associated Press

CDC to extend federal travel mask mandate

CDC to extend travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor uptick in COVID-19 cases.
1 month ago
Utah begings using wastewater to track components of the COVID-19 virus in communities...
Dan Bammes

Monitoring COVID-19 virus in Utah through wastewater

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is monitoring levels of the COVID-19 virus components in sewage at wastewater treatment plants across the state. While it’s a useful early warning system, Utah’s state epidemiologist says it’s just one of the tools they have for monitoring COVID-19 infections in the community. Last year, when the Delta variant showed […]
1 month ago
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
Paul Nelson

Federal health officials investigating Utah-based company over COVID-19 testing

A Utah-based company is being investigating for claims of substandard conditions at COVID-19 testing sites.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Health officials will significantly ‘ramp down’ the number of COVID-19 tests they offer