Federal official here to help with COVID-19 mass testing in South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The federal government has arrived to help South Dakota conduct its first widespread mass testing event. Mass testing will start tomorrow Pierre at one of 10 sites set for through Nov. 20.

None of the 10 sites includes the Sioux Falls area which had a total of 18,547 coronavirus cases as of Nov. 9.

“Communities across the state were selected for mass testing to augment current community testing options,” South Dakota Department of Health spokesman Derrick Haskins said in an email to KELOLAND News.

The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said today on Twitter that he was in South Dakota to help with COVID-19 surge testing.

South Dakota has 12,266 active COVID-19 cases, according to the DOH.

The state started planning several weeks ago for mass testing with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the South Dakota National Guard, Haskins said. The HHH is paying for the tests.

‘We will evaluate plans for any future community mass testing after this round,” Haskins said.

This mass testing program would be the first of this kind in the state. Mass testing has been done for the COVID-19 outbreak at the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, for several prisons in the state and at nursing homes.

Iowa has conducted multiple mass testings through its TestIowa program. The state’s department of health website says it can’t test everyone but “we’ll prioritize testing for those who currently have symptoms, have interacted with someone who has already tested positive, or have recently visited places where COVID-19 is more widespread.”

Minnesota has set up multiple mass testing sites over the past several months. It recently started saliva testing sites in several communities in the state. Gov. Tim Walz announced today that more than a dozen new sites will be established in the state.

The North Dakota Department of Health has organized had mass testing sites and free testing sites across the state. As of Nov. 9, more than 45 free testing sites were listed for communities around the state.

The testing in South Dakota is free but people must register online. The sites for South Dakota are listed below.

  • PIERRE – National Guard Armory, 3440 E. Hwy. 34
    November 10 | 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    November 11 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • MOBRIDGE – National Guard Armory, 1213 Lake Front Dr.
    November 11 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • ABERDEEN – Fairgrounds, 400 24th Ave. NW
    November 12 & 13 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    November 14 | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • CHAMBERLAIN / OACOMA – Oacoma Community Center, 100 E. 3rd St.
    November 14 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • WATERTOWN – National Guard Armory, 1951 N. Hwy. 20
    November 15 & 16 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • MADISON – Baughman Park, 1100 3rd St. SE
    November 17 | 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    November 18 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • YANKTON – Mall Parking Lot, 2101 Broadway Ave.
    November 17 | 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    November 18 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • MARTIN – Martin Community Health Center, 102 US 18
    November 20 | 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • CUSTER – Custer Search & Rescue, 1073 Montgomery St.
    November 20 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • SPEARFISH – Spearfish High School, 1725 N. Main St.
    November 21 & 22 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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