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COVID-19 testing site opens in Salt Lake City Int'l Airport

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 20:01:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City International Airport opened a new COVID-19 testing site on Wednesday.

A shop near airline gates that used to be a massage and spa place, is now a coronavirus test shop.

LIST: Utah counties offering free rapid COVID-19 tests this week

XpresSpa turned 7 of their 23 airport shops into XpressCheck for those needing a test for travel.

Scott Milford, the XpresSpa Group Chief Operating Officer, said all of their shops were deemed "non-essential" at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We thought how can we continue to serve the travel industry?" said Milford.

That's when the idea of a COVID-19 testing service shop was put on the table.

Milford said their goal remains the same as before -- providing services and increasing consumer confidence while traveling.

"We’re helping folks one way or another and hopefully that keeps people traveling," said Milford.

WATCH: Vaccines for Utah residents not meeting demand

Kevala Jokiel, was one of the first few tested at the SLC shop.

Jokiel was visiting Utah from Hawaii to experience snowboarding for the first time.

"I know you guys are trying to escape it, but us Hawaiians like the snow," said Jokiel.

Jokiel did not want to end his trip on a down note or return to Hawaii for a 10-day quarantine.

"I kept myself safe and didn’t want to bring COVID-19 back to anyone, so I got tested," said Jokiel.

Fox 13 was asked to not take video of Jokiel receiving his test but watched as he received his results.

"It says it’s negative," said Jokiel. "Great, I can go home!

WATCH: Utah seniors eager for return to normal life with COVID-19 vaccine

The results took some time to process due to a power outage at the airport, but Milford said customers should receive their rapid test results within 15 minutes.

The plan is to administer more than 300 tests per day.

Customers can receive the PCR testing, which takes a few days to process results, or the nasal rapid test.

The tests are available to both airline employees and passengers.

Depending on one's insurance policy, the tests can cost anywhere from 70 to 200 dollars.