Avera offers COVID-19 antigen test

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Avera Health is offering patients a new option for getting tested for COVID-19 that gives results in just 15 minutes.

People in KELOLAND now have another option when it comes to getting tested for COVID-19.
Avera Health is offering an antigen test, that only takes 15 minutes to produce results.

“We’ve had a lot of issues across the nation with allocations when you’re talking PCR based. You’ve heard a lot about antigen tests and those have gone to a lot of the long-term care. But certainly, for us, it gives us another resource to have quick turnaround time,” Mike Black said.

Mike Black with Avera Health says current turnaround times for PCR tests at Avera are about 18 hours, making the newly offered antigen test a game-changer.

“We did our own studies of patients compared to PCR versus antigen. We did over 70 patients. And I think that’s one of the questions that you would probably have is, well, how does this relate to PCR? Well, the antigen tests that we’re using we’re talking about today is very, very good,” Black said.

Avera collection site administrator Eric Felderman says the collection site is at Avera on South Minnesota Avenue, and patients must meet certain criteria before receiving the test.

“You have to be greater than five years of age. You have to be actively symptomatic. And as Mike alluded to that’s between zero days and 12 days, new onset of symptoms,” Eric Felderman said.

Patients also must call their provider or the COVID hotline before showing up.

“It’s absolutely critical. Really we can’t do any sort of collection here without an order from a physician. So that really does need to take place first,” Felderman said.

Once tested, patients can access their results through Avera Charts, something he recommends is set up ahead of time for non-Avera patients.

“To get the results, the fastest, we actually encourage patients to use Avera Charts. That’s kind of our portal essentially. The second that we know you would know,” Felderman said.

Black adds that the antigen test is 97.6 percent sensitive and 96.6 percent specific, just under that of a PCR test.

COVID Hotline: 1-877-At-Avera (1-877-282-8372)

To register for Avera Charts, click here.

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