How The State Is Coordinating Coronavirus Testing

Mar 11, 2020

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

South Dakota is confirming five positive cases of COVID 19—the disease cause by coronavirus, with two test kits pending.

Those five positive cases are sprinkled throughout the state. One case in Pennington County is related to a man in his 60’s who died on Tuesday.

The cases are considered presumptive positive. Governor Kristi Noem says they’re waiting on confirmation from the Center for Disease Control.

“Protocol is that they pull samples at the local lab where the provider is, they send it to the state for our testing,” Noem says. “When they come back positive, we notify that lab who notifies that patient, and then we send that on to the CDC where they confirm the case.”

The state Department of Health is working with the four others who tested positive to determine who else they may have come in contact with in recent days. Governor Noem is also partially activating the state’s emergency operations center to respond to the coronavirus.