Free Rapid Covid-19 Tests offered in Heber

TestUtah will be providing free Covid-19 Rapid Antigen tests in Heber City. The drive-through tests will be available on January 11 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and January 12 from noon to 7:00 pm. The testing center is located at the Wasatch County Events Center. The Antigen tests can be completely processed in only 15-20 minutes.

These tests will be provided free to anyone, regardless of symptoms or insurance. Anyone interested in participating in the free testing should go online to www.testutah.com. Participants are asked a short series of questions regarding possible symptoms and exposure. They will then be able to register for a test.

The TestUtah initiative is sponsored through Silicon Slopes, in partnership with the State of Utah and private corporations. The goal of the initiative is to “dramatically increase the rate of COVID-19 testing” by providing free tests to all Utahns. All testing and equipment is provided by the State of Utah. However, many of the staff members are working as volunteers. In addition to Silicon Slopes, several other companies have also contributed, including Qualtrics, Domo, and ATL Technology.

Wasatch County School District is encouraging members of the community to take advantage of the free testing. A recent post on the District’s Facebook page read, “As we wind down from the holiday break, we hope this free testing opportunity will help quickly identify new cases and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.” Free testing is always available to students at a site on the West Campus near Wasatch High School.

According to TestUtah, “Widespread testing is a proven, effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.” Testing across Utah enables greater tracking and containment of the virus. This will “help stem the spread of COVID-19, to get us back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.