Today at a press conference at the State Capitol, Gov. Gary Herbert announced an ambitious effort to crush the curve, the #TestUtahChallenge, to double the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity and gather data from each Utah citizen to help health officials better combat the virus. The testing expansion comes in partnership with the Silicon Slopes Serves initiative, which is managing a private-public partnership to set up new testing facilities that, at scale, will more than double the state’s daily testing capacity from 3,000 to 6,000+ tests a day.
As part of this effort, the #TestUtahChallenge calls on every Utahn to complete an online assessment at TestUtah.com. All Utahns are encouraged to take the assessment regardless of symptoms. The data will be aggregated by the state to allow public health officials to better track the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. Increased testing and tracing of the virus will allow a more effective and targeted response, helping reduce transmission and infections.
The assessment, created in partnership with the Utah Department of Health, asks individuals to provide information regarding any symptoms they may be experiencing as well as related questions regarding mental health, stress, and occupational considerations. All those taking the assessment will receive helpful, accurate, evidence-based information regarding the COVID-19 virus. An algorithm will process the responses and instruct each individual whether or not they should be tested for COVID-19. For those for whom testing is recommended, the assessment will trigger an email that will provide each person a unique QR code and will recommend a testing center location. Following the test, results will be emailed or texted to each individual informing them of their diagnosis and recommended next steps. Testing is currently available in Provo and Orem. Additional testing locations will be added soon.
The assessment will be conducted using GDPR, HIPAA, HITRUST and FedRamp compliant technology, maintaining the highest levels of security and privacy protection available. The #TestUtahChallenge comes in addition to Governor Herbert’s stay-at-home directive.
“We are excited to announce a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that will help accelerate testing for COVID-19 and help us flatten the curve in Utah and save lives,” said Governor Gary Herbert. “It has been amazing to work with Silicon Slopes and so many incredible leaders in both the technology and healthcare communities of Utah to develop a solution to keep our citizens safe, informed and help us all get us back to a normal way of life as quickly and safely as possible.”
The effort comes on the heels of Silicon Slopes’ broader initiative to mobilize the tech community in a public-private initiative to combat the COVID-19 epidemic via SlopesServes.com, where members of the community can find business resources, donate to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, volunteer, and donate medical supplies.
“Utah is an amazing place. Leaders across many industries have come together virtually overnight to create a solution that will help crush the curve and save many lives,” said Clint Betts, executive director of Silicon Slopes. “We’re grateful for the seamless way the public and private sectors in Utah rally together with the sole goal of helping people. There is no place or partnership like this anywhere in the world.”
The Silicon Slopes Serves health committee gathered a broad partnership of founders and leaders of area companies to build an open-source approach to scaling COVID-19 testing in Utah. The coalition includes ATL Technology, Co-Diagnostics, Domo, Nomi Health, Qualtrics, RPH Engineering, local hospitals, and many others in the community that donated notable resources to mobilize this effort as well as some that are offering services at a discounted or complimentary rate. The health committee is led by Mark Newman of Nomi Health and Dave Elkington of the Silicon Slopes Board.
For more information and to take the assessment and schedule a test, visit TestUtah.com.
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