‘No timeframe’ when state health lab can run COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus

(Nexstar DC photo)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The state of South Dakota can’t test any more people for COVID-19 because of a shortage of tests, the South Dakota Department of Health Laboratory announced Wednesday.

The SDPHL said it was able to run tests for medium and high risk patients on Monday, March 16, but the expected additional supplies did not arrive. The agency said there is “no timeframe” for when the supplies will be available from the CDC and commercial suppliers.

In the absence of current testing, SD-DOH recommends that individuals suspected of having COVID-19 self-isolate at home until COVID-19 testing has been completed or released from isolation according to the following:

Person does not have fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, for at least 72 hours (at least 3 full days).

Person has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

In a joint news conference Monday, officials from Avera Health and Sanford Health said they were working on developing their own coronavirus tests.

The CDC describes high risk patients as those who travel from Hubei Province, China. A person who is Living in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a non-healthcare setting (such as a home) for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection without using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation.

The CDC describes medium risk patients as those have traveled from mainland chin outside Hubei Province or Iran. Travel from a country with widespread sustained transmission, other than China or Iran.Travel from a country with sustained community transmission. Also, someone who has had close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19On an aircraft, being seated within 6 feet (two meters) of a traveler with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection; this distance correlates approximately with 2 seats in each direction. Living in the same household as, an intimate partner of, or caring for a person in a non health care setting (such as a home) to a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection while consistently using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation.  

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