COVID-19 lab testing to resume in SD, Gov. expects positive cases to increase


PIERRE, S.D. – Lab testing of COVID-19 tests in South Dakota is set to begin again Thursday after supplies were delivered to the state’s Public Health Laboratory.

Governor Kristi Noem addressed state leaders Thursday morning in the Emergency Operations Center in Pierre. Noem says she anticipates the state will have more positive results. While the state did receive the necessary enzymes and reagents needed to run lab tests, Noem says another shipment is on the way.

In the meantime, the state is still prioritizing high risk patients in lab testing. Noem defines “high risk” patients as those who may have a health condition or may have been in close contact with someone who did test positive.

The number of positive results remains at 11 over the past few days given the halt in lab testing since Monday. The number of pending cases has climbed to 402 as of Thursday morning. That number is up 52 from Wednesday morning’s update. There have been 551 negative cases, according to the state’s Department of Health website.

According to the Governor, South Dakota has tested a higher percentage of its population compared to surrounding states and there have been fewer positive test results.

Noem affirms there are still no cases tied to community spread and all 11 cases have been connected to travel outside of the state.

Noem says she’s been in constant communication with local leaders and health officials in determining next steps. “We may be doing this for a few more weeks,” said Noem.

Once the lab is able to produce test results, Noem will provide a press briefing with Thursday’s updated numbers.

NewsCenter1 will continue to update this story.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News