Mass testing planned for Rapid City facilities after employee tests positive

RAPID CITY, S.D. — With cases of the coronavirus on the rise in Pennington County and the infection of an employee at a Rapid City health care facility, local leaders are looking forward to mass testing that will begin later this week.

An employee of the Clarkson Health Care Facility on Mountain View Drive learned Monday she tested positive.

“How we found out and how the person found out was after they got to work, a family member called and said ‘I’m not feeling well’,” said CEO of Westhills Village Daryl Reinicke. “She left work to take the person to the doctor and they were both tested. This person was asymptomatic.”

She was sent home immediately after learning the result on Monday and was interviewed to see with whom she’d been in contact. From there, the medical director, department of health, staff, residents, and family members were all notified of the test result.

Westhills Village owns Clarkson. Reinicke says because it was caught early, contact was minimal but mass testing across the state will help staff and residents feel more at ease. From both Westhills and Clarkson, 450 employees and residents will be tested this week as part of the state’s initiative to test everyone in assisted living and nursing homes. While only one employee has tested positive, Reinicke is hopeful but realistic.

“We’re looking for really good news but the practical reality is that if we’re going to test people in Rapid City, what are the chances that it’s a zero but there’s also a chance it’s not zero,” said Reinicke. “We are going to require all of our staff to come in and get tested so we have a very good snapshot.”

The test supplies are scheduled to arrive no later than Thursday and the testing itself will be conducted over a two-day period. Results will be processed over a two to four day period through LabCorp in Rapid City.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News