Gov. Kristi Noem addresses supply shortage for COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The latest report from the South Dakota Health Department shows no new cases, but the number of pending cases has jumped from 35 to 350 in just one day.

COVID-19 test results are on hold in South Dakota.

“We have a shortage on the re-agents and the enzymes that are utilized to process the tests at the state public health lab. We are working on several different suppliers to get that into the state health lab, hopefully within hours,” Gov. Kristi Noem said.

People who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, have been traveling, or are in contact with someone who tested positive should still call their doctor.

“Get tested, they will get the sample sent into Pierre and we will be processing and running those tests 24/7 as soon as we get re-supplied with the reagents that we need,” Gov. Noem said.

A new service people can take advantage of in Rapid City is the drive-thru sample collection.

“We are well-prepared, we have a large health system in our community in our region. We’ve implemented new services recently for those individuals in our communities that have concerns about COVID-19,” Paulette Davidson, Monument Health President, CEO, said.

School is closed for the rest of this week and all next week. Several businesses began working from home to slow the spread of the disease.

“We are using CDC guidelines on community response to decisions that we are making and we have in some instances been more cautious. We will continue to do that. As long as those tests give us more indications, we will certainly take action too,” Gov. Noem said.

But patients may have to wait a few days to get their results. The state isn’t sure when testing supplies will arrive.

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