SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Testing is a crucial part in the fight against COVID-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 1.5 million tests have been given in South Dakota according to the state health department.
So how do you know if you need one?
People with COVID-19 can experience many symptoms similar to the cold or flu such as muscle aches, cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, and more.
About 200 people a day are rolling through Sanford’s COVID-19 drive-through testing site in Sioux Falls.
“We’re seeing some of the same symptoms we saw back a year and a half ago. The most common COVID-19 symptom we see is patients that can’t smell and can’t taste, and that’s one of the semi-positive indicators that a patient has COVID-19 or not, but we’re also seeing fairly significantly ill patients,” Sanford acute care physician Dr. Brian Tjarks said.
As the pandemic stretches on, Sanford Children’s Hospital’s vice president medical officer says we’re also seeing a fairly significant RSV season and we’re heading into flu season.
So what does that mean for you?
“That’s going to be difficult to discern between colds and flu’s and COVID-19, but if you have symptoms and you’re concerned you should talk to your primary care provider and he or she may recommend testing,” Sanford Children’s vice president medical officer Dr. Joe Segeleon said.
In addition to vaccinations, testing remains a key part of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“Testing is very important. It’s a way that we identify people that are COVID-positive and then can isolate those people from the rest of the community. Without that, then the spread of COVID is rampant,” Tjarks said.
Again, if you have symptoms or if you’ve had a significant exposure you should talk to your doctor about getting tested.
Sanford is also doing COVID-19 testing at clinics in addition to the drive through.