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U of U Health moves to appointment-only COVID-19 testing

Appointments to reduce wait times, staff stress
University of Utah Health
Posted at 2:25 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 19:40:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah Health announced Friday it will now move to appointment-only COVID-19 testing. Previously, those who wished to be tested had the option to simply appear at a hospital facility without an appointment.

Officials believe the change to appointments with no drive-up availability will reduce wait times and relieve staff stress.

RELATED: Utah reports a record-high 1,411 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

During the transition away from the drive-up without an appointment testing option, U of U Health will expand weekday hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Monday.

“Cars get through our tents in three minutes on average." said Richard Orlandi, MD, chief medical officer of ambulatory health at U of U Health. "Nonetheless, increasing case counts have led to long waits that are difficult and frustrating for everyone. We’re confident this adjustment will ultimately lead to better efficiency and satisfaction for everyone.”

U of U Health provides the less-invasive saliva testing option rather than tests that use swabs wiped inside the nose.

“The change provides the same testing capacity but with a more organized approach to allow patients to be evaluated appropriately.” said Orlandi.

Appointments at U of U Health can be made online 48 hours in advance for any of its in-car testing locations, including South Jordan, Redwood and Farmington Health Centers.