South Dakota gets new COVID-19 testing equipment

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - South Dakota now has more supplies to conduct COVID-19 tests; and that includes new testing devices that should speed up results, according to Gov. Kristi Noem.

Gov. Kristi Noem talks with news media about South Dakota's status on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, March 31. (KOTA TV)

One the way, according to the governor, are 10 to 15 Abbott ID Now rapid test platforms . These devices will allow the state to get test results within five to 15 minutes.

“This is fantastic,” Noem said during her Tuesday morning news conference. “These are going to be testing supplies that we will be able to utilize to get instant results for individuals across the state of South Dakota; and we’ll put them in populations where we can focus on stopping hot spots and making sure we’re getting people answers on if they are positive with COVID-19 and then to immediately be able to isolate them and protect more people.”

Monday, the state received a shipment of surgical masks, gowns and face shields; and expects another shipment soon.

The governor believes South Dakota is positioned to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. South Dakota is the last state to reach the 100 positive COVID-19 threshold; and while testing has been painfully slow, when compared with the rest of the nation, South Dakota is ranked 15th in the percentage of population being tested.

“That’s good news for us. It indicates we are prepared for this marathon. This is not a sprint. We still have many more weeks ahead of us.”

The state has also beefed up its COVID-19 page on the state Department of Health website:

The site still has all the health information related to the novel coronavirus; but now includes links to resources on education, child care, business support, re-employment and volunteering.

People seeking information on COVID-19 should make sure it comes from verifiable, accurate sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health.