“Travel tests” not offered by Monument Health, options available online

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally nears, Monument Health says rally goers from out of state are inquiring about COVID-19 “travel tests” – a service the hospital system is not offering at this time.

Monument Health officials say they’ve been receiving inquiries from people wanting to come to South Dakota from out of state for the Rally. They say some states are requiring testing take place within 72 hours to return to their state.

At this time, officials say they are not offering these testing capabilities to those needing these types of “travel tests”. Due to supply demand, Monument Health is following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance in administering COVID-19 tests.

“Right now, we’re testing all symptomatic patients within our communities and we have pre-approved asymptomatic testing we’re able to offer,” said Emily Leech, Director of Lab Services for Monument Health. “As everyone knows the testing allocations and supplies throughout the county are limited, so we’re monitoring our supplies on a daily basis to ensure we have enough for our patients.”

There are available at-home testing vendors online for travelers to use with results offered within 72 hours of testing.

“Visitors can reach out to these specific laboratories, obtain a specimen collection kit, do their own test and send it back to that clinical laboratory,” said Leech.

In May, the FDA approved the first at-home sample collection kit. Since then, others have hit the market for varying costs.

Monument Health says they continue to work with the South Dakota Department of Health to grow the testing capacity and hope to expand their testing in September to open it beyond the symptomatic and pre-approved asymptomatic patients.

During the Rally, any visitors who do present symptoms can get a COVID-19 test at a Monument Health facility.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News