Getting a COVID-19 Test in Utah: A Journey in Tweets

4 mins read
Photo by Kaz Weida

So I woke up sick and so exhausted I can barely move. But I can’t tell if that’s normal life with an undiagnosed metabolic/autoimmune disorder or something more sinister.

I’m gonna go crawl back into bed now.

I’ve called University of Utah Health and after a review of my symptoms and risk factors, they’ve decided to refer me to a doctor for a telehealth appointment to determine eligibility for COVID-19 testing.

The wait for a phone call from the doc is running several hours. I’ll keep you posted.

Wow. Props to University of Utah Health. I’ve already gotten a call back & been approved for testing. I’ll live tweet so you can get some sense of how testing & diagnosis is working here in Utah. The process so far was quick, and they are definitely prioritizing people with medical conditions.

And off we go.

Bunny socks are appropriate coronavirus testing apparel, correct?

Asking for a friend.


I’m back! So first off University of Utah Health made this a fairly painless process.

As you can see, it’s a drive thru testing station.

Yes, the sky always looks like that here. Isn’t it lovely?


Secondly the people taking your info and getting you in the cue are outfitted in some PPE, but not full suits as they are in North Korea. For that reason you should keep your window up as much as possible.

This particular doc looked like she had her own n95 mask from home.


When it’s your turn and you pull through, the healthcare worker doing the swab is the one wearing all the protection.

But there are still as many as five or six handling samples that aren’t wearing much beyond surgical masks and gloves.


All in all a fast process for patients but I do worry about our healthcare workers.

They seemed to be taking precautions washing and using new gloves for each patient but there wasn’t much in the way of full PPE that you’d except to see when handling infectious diseases.

So grateful for those people out there today risking their lives to make sure folks get the care they need and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Sure wish we could do more to make this process safer for them.

I’m in quarantine. I’ll keep you all posted.

For those asking about the swab, it is serious business. They stick it so far up your nose that it’s basically touching your tonsils.

I’ve had a nasal biopsy and this was definitely way less painful but certainly uncomfortable.

Just be prepared to cry a little.

Update: Utah is doing a fantastic job on turnaround for these tests. Less than 24 hours and I got my results via phone.


So I’m just normal sick and not COVID sick. Thank god.

My dog can finally stop standing vigil at my door.

Originally posted as a Twitter thread, reposted with permission.

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