August COVID-19 testing doubles July numbers, Monument seeks testing help from National Guard members

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Monument Health is receiving the help of nine members from South Dakota’s National Guard after seeking out assistance for COVID-19 test collection at drive through testing sites.

Testing volume in August was more than double what it was in July. Within the last week, nearly three thousand COVID-19 tests were completed and 30-percent of those were positive.

Officials with Monument Health say the hospital has adequate analyzers and other lab materials, and that help from the National guard will allow them to test more patients and fully utilize their equipment.

Volunteering came on a first-come-first-serve basis, and the nine guard members who offered their services began Tuesday.

Dylan Kasma, a Specialist with the National Guard, says at a Rapid City testing site, ”My father, my family, are very much involved in the medical field. It’s possible this will give me a small little taste of what they do. See what it’s like to be in their shoes for a bit.”

A month ago, Monument Health’s system had less than ten hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

As of Monday, they reported that number was up to 110.

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