Patient Waiting for COVID-19 Test Dies in Line

71-year-old was cold to the touch after waiting less than 45 minutes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2020 8:48 AM CDT
Utah Man Dies in COVID-19 Test Line
A healthcare worker directs patients in their cars at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Las Vegas on Friday.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

A 71-year-old nursing home patient died while waiting in line at a drive-thru coronavirus test center in Utah on Sunday. A caretaker and driver from Mountain View Health Services in Ogden had taken the man to the North Ogden Clinic testing site, operated by Intermountain Healthcare, which gave the wait time as less than 45 minutes. That was significantly better than on some other days, when the wait lasted several hours, per Newsweek. But by the time the patient could be seen, he was unresponsive and cold to the touch, per KUTV.

"Testing center caregivers acted quickly and followed correct procedures by immediately calling 911, but EMS workers could not revive the individual," Intermountain said. It's unclear if the patient died of coronavirus-related causes. The man was apparently getting tested ahead of a surgery, North Ogden Mayor Neal Berube says, per Newsweek. "Until an autopsy is performed, we probably shouldn't jump to conclusions," he adds. Health officials say people who are seriously ill should call 911 or visit a hospital, rather than a drive-thru test center. (More coronavirus stories.)

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