South Dakota hospitals start COVID-19 testing


SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The largest healthcare systems in South Dakota announced on Monday they are running tests for COVID-19.

Both Sanford and Avera Health said they have the capability to test a combined 600 patients a day. The state health lab halted testing last week after running out of test supplies and is only running test for high-priority cases. The announcements came shortly after Gov. Kristi Noem told the state to brace for widespread infections in the coming months.

Sanford Health's tests use an FDA-approved method allowed under Emergency Use Authorization. Its lab can run up to 400 tests a day. Avera was certified with the state's Department of Health and can run 200 tests a day.

The state is currently waiting results for about 700 tests that were sent to out-of-state commercial labs after the state's health lab had to limit its testing.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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