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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Officials have announced South Dakota's public health lab has halted COVID-19 testing due to a shortage of supplies. The lab had to stop this week after running out of supplies both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private suppliers.
It ran tests for medium and high-risk patients on Monday, meaning they tested individuals who were showing symptoms of COVID-19. The Department of Health said there is "no timeframe" for when tests will be available due to a nationwide shortage of testing supplies.
During a news conference
Two of the largest healthcare providers in South Dakota have indicated they are working to develop testing.
As of March 18, there have been 11 positive cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota. All of them have been travel-related, health officials say there has been no report of community spread in the state. They are currently at home in isolation recovering.
South Dakota clinicians are being strongly encouraged to test for other infectious causes of respiratory illness, such as influenza and RSV.
Health officials say you should call your personal physician before going in to get a checked-up.
Health officials suggest the following procedures to avoid contracting the coronavirus as well as any other virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Individuals at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease, should take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.
- Create a family plan to prepare for COVID-19 and develop a stay at home kit with food, water, medication, and other necessary items.