DOH starts mass testing at congregate care sites Original

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health has started mass testing in congregate care facilities, health secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in Monday’s news briefing.

Malsam-Rysdon said congregate care facilities include those that house elderly residents as well as people with intellectual disabilities and similar circumstances.

Forty-nine congregate care facilities with 1,603 staff and 905 residents have requested mass testing, Malsam-Rysdon said.

At the state level, the state is paying directly for the costs of COVID-19 testing, Malsam-Rysdon said. Insurance, such as in the case of testing done at employers, typically pays for the cost of testing.

Malsam-Rysdon said the state is also discussing with universities and colleges about the possibility of mass testing in when the 2020-2021 school year starts.

The structure and pay options and even if testing happens are all still being discussed, she said.

The state’s costs incurred with mass COVID-19 testing are eligible for reimbursement through the federal CARES act, Malsam-Rysdon said.

The state’s estimated 2019 population is 884,659. So far, the state has had 67,003 negative tests and 6,326 positive tests for 73,329 total tests.

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