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Utahns brave long lines, wait times to get tested for COVID-19

Posted at 7:43 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 21:43:24-05

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Utah set another record on Tuesday with nearly 10,000 COVID-19 cases.

That has left many people heading to sites around the state to get tested.

The site at the Maverik Center in West Valley City opened at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

"It was all the way around the building when we got here," said Allen Heaps. "It's crazy."

Those long lines also made for a long wait.

"We came out here around 7 and scheduled our appointment for 7:58. We have been here since," said Justin Ortiz said around 12:15 p.m.

He and his mother, Christine Ortiz, say it was a much different process than the last time they got tested in October.

"We were in and out," Christine Ortiz said of the previous time. "It took us longer to fill out the phone thing, the application, than it did for the test."

Over at the Cannon Building in Salt Lake City, it was much of the same.

Monica Hoffman says she made an appointment and still found herself waiting in line.

"I have probably been to this site about five or six times to get tested for various reasons, and it doesn't seem like there is any difference from when we actually didn't have an appointment from wait times," said Hoffman.

It is something that hasn't gone unnoticed.

"We are working on our testing strategy today, definitely," said Dr. Angela Dunn, the executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. "But the lines have been, I have heard, multiple hours long."

With the COVID-19 numbers on the rise, Dr. Dunn says people need to take the necessary precautions.

"Definitely don't let the lack of a test prevent you from taking the proper protocols to prevent the spread," she said.

That's why those who braved the long lines say it was well worth the wait.

"Practice patience, get yourself a snack, and be prepared to be in line for quite a while, whether you have an appointment or not," said Hoffman.

"For me, it is a must," Christine Ortiz said. "I can't go to dialysis until I get it, so for me, it is a must."

The Utah Department of Health tells FOX 13 that if you are willing to wait in line, you should expect long wait times. They also urge that anyone who heads out to a testing site to be patient with the testing staff.

You can visit the Utah Department of Health website for up-to-date information on testing sites.