COVID-19 mass testing held at the Central States Fairgrounds this weekend

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Well over a thousand people have taken advantage of the free COVID-19 testing offered by the State Health Department this weekend. With positive cases and deaths increasing, state officials want to find out who has the virus and maybe even where they got it.

What makes this mass testing event unique to others?

First of all, it’s free. The nasal swab is administered by the person being tested, with the medical staff watching to make sure it’s done properly. Patients must pre-register for the event and will receive a test voucher that must be brought with them to the testing site. Those without an appointment will only be tested in time slots not already reserved.

“A lot of people are having to pay when they go to the clinics; some may not have insurance. The South Dakota Department of Health is offering free tests to anybody who would like to come and kinda get that peace of mind – even if they are not having symptoms, they may be asymptomatic…just to slow the spread a little bit. To give our health care workers a little bit of a relief,” said Maj. Whitney Bruinsma, O.I.C. for the South Dakota state testing.

The DOH reported 733 new confirmed cases Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 68,448. Since Friday, the Department of Health has given over 1,500 free tests in Rapid City alone.

“We’re still giving tests and making sure that we’re taking care of you and your family, especially with the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up. Just kinda giving that peace of mind whether you are positive or negative case,” Maj. Bruinsma said.

The Department of Health’s last day for the free testing is Monday from 8:00 a.m. until noon at the Central States Fairgrounds.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News