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Healthcare company launches mobile COVID-19 testing program to reach remote areas

One of the companies providing the testing sites is TestUtah. (Photo courtesy: Nomi Health)

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah works to curb the spread of the coronavirus, one healthcare company is bringing mobile COVID-19 testing to more Utahns across the state. 

Nomi Health — a direct healthcare company involved with local testing efforts across the U.S. — launched the first mobile antigen testing program in Utah Monday, bringing rapid tests to rural and small communities. 

“Access to testing is critical now more than ever, so we partnered with the State to offer no-cost antigen testing alongside the PCR tests already available from TestUtah,” said Mark Newman, co-founder and CEO of Nomi Health.

“What’s remarkable about this effort is that, for the first time in Utah, the antigen testing is mobile, allowing us to easily and effectively serve remote communities across Utah.”

Mobile COVID-19 testing comes as new case numbers fall

The program comes on the same day the Utah Department of Health reported 1,819 more COVID-19 cases, the second-lowest increase in positive cases since Nov. 24. It’s slightly higher than the 1,786 cases reported Sunday. 

The tests will be administered from TestUtah sprinter vans, which will change locations throughout the week. Those wishing to get tested can enter their zip code into the online tracker to find the closest testing location. 

From there, Utahns can make an appointment and then travel to the sprinter van to get tested. 

Especially during the holiday season, we believe every Utahn should be able to access the peace of mind that comes with testing – no matter how small or remote their community is,” Newman said. “We’re proud to support the State’s ongoing commitment to this mission.”

Each van is equipped with FDA-authorized antigen tests to provide rapid results, with registered clinicians administering the tests. 

Importance of more testing in rural Utah

Experts say it’s crucial to expand coronavirus resources to those living in rural areas, arguing it would help control the spread of the virus. In a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, those living in high-deprivation areas — such as rural central and Southern Utah — are three times more likely to be infected with COVID-19. 

That’s because these areas usually contain higher concentrations of people, meaning there’s more crowded housing.

To enhance mitigation, the CDC recommends increasing access to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, preventative care and disease management in these areas. 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States