Utah moves into ‘steady state’ of pandemic, many testing options are going away
SALT LAKE CITY – Several major changes are coming for COVID-19 testing in Utah starting Friday, April 1.
The state will no longer offer free travel testing, and most other state-sponsored testing will go away.
The Utah Department of Health will still keep a close eye on the virus.
Utah is entering a new phase in its response to COVID-19 called the “steady state.” The Utah Department of Health will start to treat it like other diseases but remain ready to respond to any new wave of COVID-19.
With good access to vaccines and boosters and a high degree of immunity through infection, the COVID-19 response will start to look more like responses to other infectious diseases, like the seasonal flu.
“We are also going to be ready and prepared in case there are things that come back related to COVID-19, or there are increases that we would be able to ramp back up the services,” said Nate Checketts, executive Director of the Utah Department of Health.
Starting Friday, state-sponsored sites are ending, that includes the travel testing lanes in Salt Lake City and St. George.
“Travelers will need to find private providers to provide that testing,” said Checketts. “Travelers are responsible for figuring out what is required from them.”
UDOH says that the cost ranges from $60-$250.
In June 2022 Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
The healthcare company also opened a test-to-travel location.
Here is the list of the new COVID-19 testing locations.
- Sandy Library, 10100 Petunia Way Sandy UT 84092 (SE Corner), Mon-Sat, 9-6 pm (testing)
- Ogden Regional Medical Center, 5475 S 500 E Ogden UT 84405 (SW Parking Lot), Mon – Sat, 9-6pm (testing)
- West Valley City – Centennial Park, 5405 W 3100 S West Valley City UT 84119 (SW Parking lot), Mon-Fri, 9-6pm, Sat 11-7pm (testing), Th-Fri 9-6pm, Sat 11-7pm (vaccine)
- Provo Towne Centre Mall, 1200 Towne Centre Blvd. Provo UT 84601 (North parking Lot), Mon-Sat, 9-6pm (testing)
- SLC1 West Parking Lot, 777 N 5600 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, 12-7pm (PCR, Antigen, Rapid PCR and Rapid Molecular Travel Testing for “Test to Travel” program) NOTE: Rapid Molecular Travel Testing provided at this location for $179. Results in 30 minutes for travel needs.
You can still find information on COVID-19 testing, travel testing, and vaccines and boosters at coronavirus.utah.gov. People will want to start using their regular healthcare systems, and private providers.
“Always working during this period to make sure that testing resources are available to our vulnerable communities. So, we will be continuing some sites in those communities,” the executive director said.
“Our systems really are quite stable, and we will be able to go forward and monitor things,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist.
She said the department still has good surveillance of COVID-19 in hospitals and wastewater.
“We can see whether or not there is Covid in that water, and we’ve been able to do that for over a year. We have good data showing when it goes up. We know the cases are about to go up,” Nolen said.
Despite ramping down the response, the state said it will be ready to respond to COVID-19 again when necessary.
“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,” Nolen said.
She is still encouraging those who are eligible to get their COVID-19 booster shot. So far, only 30% of Utahn’s have received that extra protection which is effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
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