COVID-19 surge causing delays for test results in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (By Lisa Kaczke, Sioux Falls Argus Leader) – The surge in COVID-19 cases in other states is causing delays in test results in South Dakota.

Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said they’ve seen a change in the last week in the length of time it takes for a result if the sample is sent to an out-of-state commercial lab.

“They have quite a bit of capacity to do testing, but the volume of testing they’ve been asked to do has outstripped their capacity,” she said.

It’s taking up to a week or longer to get results from the out-of-state labs, she said. It’s different for in-state labs and the state’s public health lab is still turning out lab results in 24 hours, she said.

State epidemiologist Josh Clayton said the delay in test results doesn’t mean there’s an underrepresentation of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the state. The delays mean some people are in isolation longer while waiting for test results, he said.

The state wants to investigate positive cases as soon as possible and delays in test results affects the state’s ability to do contact tracing and case identification, Malsam-Rysdon said.

Daily cases increase by 37

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Dakota increased by 37 on Monday and no new deaths were reported.

South Dakota has a total of 7,943 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, according to the state health department. That doesn’t include people who show symptoms or are asymptomatic but are not tested. A total of 567 test results were reported on Monday and the positive rate for COVID-19 tests on Monday was 6.5%.

The state has 829 active COVID-19 cases, according to the state health department. Recoveries statewide increased to 6,996. The state health department says 774 total people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, and 65 are currently hospitalized.

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