SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – With the fast spreading Omicron variant, even more people are trying to get tested for COVID-19. Sanford Health says it’s seeing a high volume of people coming in for tests. Due to that surge, doctors are asking patients to rely on at-home tests.

“Right now, between our drive-thru testing and the testing that we’re doing in all of our clinics, we are doing more tests right now than we ever have before,” Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, Chief Physician at Sanford Health, said.

Because of the overwhelming amount of tests being sent to the lab, Dr. Cauwels wants to remind everyone that you can rely on at-home tests.

“If you have symptoms and you’re wondering if you have COVID or if you have a normal cold, it’s reasonable to go downtown to your local drug store, wherever you go, and get a test and use that to check,” Cauwels said. “And if it’s positive, you can pretty much rely on the fact that it’s positive and you don’t need to do anything. You don’t need to go in and get a confirmatory test from an official lab.”

If you test positive at home, Cauwels says you should let your doctor know and then follow the CDC guidelines for isolation.

“There are people who feel comfortable riding it out alone at home like they would for influenza or anything else, that’s okay too,” Cauwels said. “But certainly if you develop symptoms that are worrisome, by all means, contact your health care provider.”

If you’ve been exposed but don’t have symptoms, Cauwels recommends waiting five days until after the exposure to take the at-home test.

“It will very much help you make your own decisions in your personal life and will very much help the testing burden overall in the community,” Cauwels said.

There is currently no state requirement to report a positive at-home test to the Department of Health.