Utah Department of Health offering expanded free COVID-19 testing this week

COVID-19 virus illustration. Image: Pixabay/BlenderTimer

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health has expanded its free rapid antigen testing at locations throughout the state of Utah, officials said Monday.

“New sites are targeted each week based on high positivity rates, fewer tests conducted, untreated wastewater sampling, and other surveillance data,” said a news release from UDoH. “Some locations will be drive-through while others will be conducted in buildings. Everyone is encouraged to wear masks and social distance while waiting in lines.”

Anyone older than age 5 can get tested at these free testing clinics, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19, the news release said. Anyone who has any symptoms, even mild ones, can get tested. Individuals are being asked to register online here. If you do not register online or can’t register online, you will be able to register at the site but it will take longer for you to be tested. Identification may be required.

“These testing clinics are designed to more quickly identify people who are currently infectious with COVID-19, including those who may not even know they are infected because they don’t have symptoms,” the news release said. “Identifying these individuals will help slow the spread of infection in the community.”

Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, the news release said. This means PCR tests are better than antigen tests at detecting the virus, particularly when a person has small amounts of virus in their body. If an individual has symptoms and tests negative on the rapid antigen test or an individual doesn’t have symptoms and tests positive on the rapid antigen test, they will be referred for a follow up, confirmation PCR test.

Test results from these locations will be emailed to you in an encrypted file 30 minutes to several hours after your test is done. If the testing location is extremely busy, it may take a while to process your results. If you have trouble opening the email or it doesn’t come within a few hours, call 385-273-7878 for assistance.


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