Monument Health is able to process sample test for COVID-19 virus

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Monument Health in Rapid City is now testing its own potential COVID-19 samples to help health officials find out if a patient is infected sooner.

Rather than sending samples to the state lab in Pierre or Mayo, Monument Health is now sending them here to technical specialists, including Lynn Seime.

“And that goes into our test cartridge that we use on our instrument to detect the presence of that virus,” Seime said.

This in-house testing is going to greatly reduce the time it takes to find out if a patient has COVID-19.

“That quick turn around time is really important for them to help conserve on personal protective equipment knowing the procedures they can do on these patients in a safe way or do they need to take extra precautions,” Seime said.

However, the number of test samples Monument can process is limited because the Pennington County area has a smaller population and is not considered a “hot spot”.

“People that we would test if they qualify are hospitalized in-patients, long-term care patients with symptoms, we would also test health care workers and other first-responders that have symptoms, we can also test people if they are immunocompromised and possess symptoms,” Michelle Stephens, VP of Operations, said.

Monument Health does not test people who don’t have symptoms, because that could cause a false-negative test.

The test will have a run time of about 45 minutes. 16 tests can be processed at once.

In order to be tested for COVID-19 at Monument Health in Rapid City, you can call the nurse triage line.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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