SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s health department is preparing to transfer all COVID-19 testing to the healthcare system in the coming weeks; officials, however, sent a reminder Monday that public health tests are still available in the state until that happens.
The Utah Department of Health released its test sites for the week on Monday, which includes dozens of sites across the state. As the number of people being tested decreases, none of the sites require a reservation.
Some of the regular daily venues are closed on Monday for President’s Day. That list includes:
- 5-C Freeport West (Clearfield): The site reopens at. 8 on Tuesday
- Cory Wride Park (Eagle Mountain): The site reopens at. 9 on Tuesday
- Utah State Fairpark (Salt Lake City): The site reopens at. 11 on Tuesday
- Willow Park (Lehi): The site reopens at. 13.00 Wednesday
The full list of test sites, test times, and other important information regarding COVID-19 testing can be found online here.
The health department will not provide its daily COVID-19 case update on Monday due to the holiday. These daily updates, which date from March 2020, will also be phased into weekly reports by the end of next month as Utah’s health systems take over testing.
Utah’s seven-day moving average of new cases dropped to 1,055 new cases a day, compared with nearly 11,000 on Jan. 18, when the Department of Health reported Friday. The state’s “test over test” seven-day average rate of positive tests also fell from 47% on January 21 to 26% on February 12.
Although the demand for testing has declined as the number of new cases has decreased, the Ministry of Health still recommends that certain individuals be tested if they experience symptoms.
- People with “significant” underlying conditions. The Ministry of Health said that people in this category may also be eligible for treatments such as monoclonal antibodies or antiviral pills.
- People who plan to visit a person who is vulnerable due to age or underlying conditions.
- People who work with vulnerable populations, such as health care professionals, long-term care staff, or people who live and work in community settings.
- People who have been ill are recovering and want to confirm that they no longer have COVID-19.
- People traveling to a location that requires a negative COVID-19 test.
Governor Spencer Cox, who announced the upcoming, gradual shift to a “steady state,” said Friday that Utah is a “much better place” than it was when COVID-19 was first reported to be in the state for nearly two years. years ago . This is because it is easier to find COVID-19 tests now and there is also a vaccine and treatments that can help reduce the effects of coronavirus that did not exist in March 2020.
“We have tools today that we did not have two months ago, including widespread home tests and antiviral pills,” the governor added in his justification for scaling down Utah’s pandemic response. “It is now time to step out of an emergency and into a manageable risk model.”
Cox went on to say Friday that testing, either at home or through various health systems, will still be important after March 31st. He said the state Department of Health will also continue to oversee disease surveillance, data collection, vaccinations and public awareness of coronavirus.
“This is not the end of COVID,” he said, “but it is the beginning of treating COVID as we do other seasonal respiratory viruses.”