RAPID CITY, S.D. – As COVID cases surge due to the highly contagious omicron variant, the need for testing has increased. For the past month, it has been the dominant strain of the virus.
It’s easily transmissible, with nature playing a key part in that.
In South Dakota, the Department of Health is working to make sure residents continue to have access to at-home test kits. That’s on top of the Vault Health PCR test kits available online, which require saliva samples and give results one to two days after it’s received by a lab.
The White House has also made available one million Flowflex antigen tests, requiring a nasal swab and at-home results in 15 minutes. These will be ready for the public Thursday, January 13.
Department of Health personnel are currently recommending people use Vault Health kits until the new ones are ready.
Monument Health is continuing to offer PCR testing options, with results being ready within 24- to 48-hours. Patients are able to get that test, whether symptomatic or not. Appointments can be made online, with testing available at locations in- and outside of Rapid City.
Many retailers are also selling at-home test kits both in-store and online, such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target.
Over-the-counter tests come in both the antigen and PCR options for consumers, but health officials prefer the more-accurate PCR test.
Places like Walgreens and CVS also sell home kits in their stores, and offer free drive-thru testing for the public.