Five Things To Know About Utah’s COVID-19 Testing

The information in this post was adapted from coronavirus.utah.gov. For more information on testing, including testing locations, visit here

Responding to the novel coronavirus has required Utahns to stay up to date with constantly evolving information. The fluid nature of the pandemic has generated many questions about key areas of our response. 

In order to continue progress in meeting our major mortality and unemployment goals for the pandemic, it is important that Utahns can find answers to these questions. 

Perhaps one of the most frequent areas questions arise in is testing. Adequate testing is integral to our response and keeping the state on track toward recovery. Though testing capacity was limited during the initial weeks of the pandemic, the state now has the capacity to do 9,000 tests per day. Unfortunately, we have lately seen actual testing output hover around 4,000 per day, far lower than what could be done. While it is good news that cases are dropping quicker than testing has slowed, now is not the time for Utahns to forgo testing.

Testing at a higher rate allows for better prevention of spread and can provide a clearer picture of what restrictions and guidelines are necessary.

As we enter the fall season, here are five important things Utahns should know about testing: 

  1. Anyone experiencing 1 of 6 key COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. This includes fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
  1. Though having symptoms is not always required for obtaining a test, testing individuals who are symptomatic ensures greater testing accuracy than without symptoms. For those who are asymptomatic, testing is primarily reserved for higher-risk individuals, first-responders, or those with confirmed exposure to someone who has tested positive. If you are unsure whether or not you may be eligible for a test, contact your healthcare provider or a testing site to ensure you can receive one. 
  1. If you meet the criteria for someone who should be tested, you should visit one of the 76 public testing sites found throughout the state. Work with your healthcare provider or complete an assessment on the Healthy Together app or TestUtah.com to register for testing. 
  1. Tests should not have a cost associated for those with health insurance. Uninsured individuals can apply for COVID-19 testing coverage through Medicaid here
  1. Those who test positive should take steps to self-isolate until symptoms have dissipated and at least 10 days have passed since the initial positive test. Those who come into close contact with someone who has tested positive at least 2 days prior to the positive test should quarantine for 14 days.

Though new information will likely be made available as we better understand the nature of the virus, these current five simple aspects of testing will be vital to better combating the disease. 

With schools welcoming students back and more Utahns interacting with friends and coworkers, the importance of adequate testing has only increased. Without a reliable vaccine or clear therapeutic treatments, taking the personal responsibility to wear a mask and get tested when appropriate will be some of the easiest, most-effective steps you can take.  

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