SALT LAKE CITY — Transit police intercepted a TRAX train near University Hospital after a man walked away from a coronavirus testing tent and boarded the train, according to the hospital and the Utah Transit Authority.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon.
“Yesterday, a symptomatic patient at University of Utah Health left the on-site testing tent at University Hospital before receiving a COVID-19 test (against the advice of medical staff),” said a statement from University of Utah Health.
The statement goes on to say that hospital staff alerted law enforcement when the individual left hospital property and headed toward the TRAX stop.
“If the medical personnel are concerned enough about this, we need to be concerned about this and we need to react,” said UTA spokesperson Carl Arky. “They were concerned by his behavior and also concerned by the fact that he decided to leave the tent and then try to get on public transportation.”
Arky said officers quickly found the man and were able to remove him from the train at the next TRAX stop.
“He wasn’t on the train very long,” Arky said. “That car was removed and taken out of service — not the entire train but the car that he was on — and it was taken back to the shop for cleaning and disinfecting.”
Because of privacy laws, the hospital couldn’t say what happened once the patient was removed from the train.
“Again, we remind those who are experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to self-isolate, use good hand hygiene, and avoid public transportation,” said the statement from University of Utah Health.
Arky said all UTA trains and buses are cleaned and disinfected every night, but it’s up to the passengers to practice social distancing while riding.