Prairie Lakes Healthcare in Watertown to start Abbott COVID-19 testing

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KXLG) – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has said that the curve is bending across South Dakota and that the numbers of projected hospital beds and ventilators has been reduced to half of what it was initially.

Prairie Lakes Healthcare President and CEO, K.C. DeBoer says they will be ready to handle a large number of patients when the surge arrives.

South Dakota Department of Health officials say that Sioux Falls will see the surge most likely around the end of May. The rest of the state is anticipated to see the surge around the middle of June. DeBoer says he’s relieved to see that social distancing is working.

Department of Health officials announced on Wednesday that Prairie Lakes Healthcare was selected as one of eight hospitals across the state to receive the Abbott COVID-19 testing equipment. DeBoer says they have received the equipment yesterday and it should be in operation later today.

The testing equipment came to Prairie Lakes Healthcare with the limited number of tests so they will be using those tests judiciously. Dr. Dan Rieffenberger of Brown Clinic says the criteria for testing hasn’t changed.

Rieffenberger said there remains a nationwide shortage of testing materials and that is why those tests are not administered to everyone. Rieffenberger says we must continue practicing social distancing.

More information about testing can be found on the South Dakota Department of Health Website at