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Wasatch Back offers multiple COVID-19 testing options

Richardson Flat COVID-19 testing site
Renai Bodley Miller
Richardson Flat COVID-19 testing site

COVID-19 case counts continue to soar in the Wasatch Back. Lines to get tested are tie-consuming, and results are taking longer than they used to.

The CDC recommends people get tested for COVID-19 if they experience symptoms or were exposed to someone testing positive. There are multiple county test sites and wait times for testing vary.

Summit County Communication and Public Engagement Director Derek Siddoway said the busiest site seems to be the Richardson Flat location, and people should plan for an hour wait.

“So, Richardson Flat, the Kamas Health Department, and the Coalville Health Department, we want to increase testing at those locations to five days per week. And working with the organization to have the resources available to do so. Internally, we just don't have the staff resources available to dedicate to five days a week testing at three locations, but we realize that it's important."

Nomi Health is a third-party test provider. Medical Director Dr. June Steely said they offer rapid antigen and PCR tests at no charge to patients.

"We are doing about 300 tests per day at the Park City location. We highly recommend that people pre-register--that makes it quicker. But we do accept walk-ups."

Testing hours in Park City at 3345 East Richardson Flat Rd are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 10 to 7 and Fridays from 10 – 2. Summit County provides free testing at all three locations.

Siddoway suggests checking before going to test sites.

"I think we've all heard stories about the testing demand in Salt Lake County and in the Salt Lake area how lines have been up to three hours long so where we're seeing testing increasing not only with residents but people coming from outside the counties here to test as well."

Once people finally get tested, they have another wait – for results.

KPCW talked with three patients, all waiting more than 80 hours this week for PCR results.

Around the Wasatch Back, systems and charges for tests vary.

STAT MD is an urgent care center in Kimball Junction. Clinic Manager Suzanne Moulton said they offer rapid antigen tests for $80.00 in addition to the office visit charge of $165.00. Insurance companies cover the office charge; patients are responsible for paying the test fee. Moulton said rapid tests are less reliable, and PCR tests are sent to the lab regardless of rapid test results.

Moulton said lab results now take 3 to 5 days.

"Based on what we had up until even through Christmas up until New Year's, we were roughly 24 to 36 hours. We haven't gotten any quite at the five-day mark yet, but definitely, we've gone three-and-a-half to four days."

Intermountain Health Care Park City Hospital offers PCR take-home saliva tests from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. Results take 12 to 72 hours.

COVID-19 testing is available by appointment from 7 am to 9 pm at the University of Utah Redstone Clinic in Kimball Junction. Testing schedules open two days out and fill up quickly. They perform saliva PCR tests and results take 24 to 72 hours. There are no out-of-pocket costs for tests there if people have insurance.

The Park City School District offers rapid testing to employees, students, and their families at the Eccles Center and Ecker Hill Middle School Monday through Friday from 7:15 am to 9:15 am. Registration must be done beforehand. A registration link is in the web version of this report at kpcw.org.

(through RedCap https://redcap.link/utah.gov-ParkCitySD

COVID testing in Wasatch County is at the County Health Department. But its website says there are no appointments until Jan 18.

Heber Valley Instacare offers saliva PCR tests only.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.