South Dakota Dept. of Health says COVID testing still vital to tracking cases, variants
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - With all Americans 16 and older now able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the South Dakota Department of Health wants to remind the public not to forget a crucial component in tracking the coronavirus: testing.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said there are currently 62 variants of coronavirus in at least 16 counties in the state, including the more severe U.K. (B.1.1.7) and Brazil (B.188.8.131.52) strains during an April 15 interview with KOTA Territory News.
State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon says coronavirus testing remains invaluable to understanding the reach of COVID-19 and its variants and organizing a coronavirus response. However, there is concern that testing as data collection could be overshadowed by the nationwide vaccine rollout.
“Testing plays a critical role in us continuing to identify COVID when it’s happening,” Malsam-Rysdon says. “If you have symptoms of COVID or you’ve been around somebody who has tested positive for COVID, we really encourage people to become tested.”
With at-home test kits available across the state, you can go to the COVID in South Dakota website to order a free at-home testing kit.
This story is the finale of an interview series with South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon and State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton.
Copyright 2021 KOTA. All rights reserved.