March 19, 2020
At this time, there is a nationwide shortage of supplies to run the SARS-COV-2 lab test. Currently, the South Dakota Department of Health has a triage protocol for which specimens will be processed. Priority groups for testing at this time are:
- Healthcare workers and first responders
- Individuals who are 65 years of age and older
- Individuals with underlying medical conditions including:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Therefore, if you do not meet these above criteria, you will not be tested for COVID-19. Testing for influenza and strep throat can still be performed.
How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as those you would typically take during a normal flu season.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your face.
- If you take prescriptions, refill them now in the event you get sick
- Do not panic. For 84% of COVID-19 patients, the symptoms are mild.
- Stay home if you are sick with cold or influenza-type symptoms to minimize risk of transmission to others
- Social distancing – keep your distance from others which is about 6 feet. Avoid crowded places and limit your activities in public.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces following CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
- Even though you may not have been tested, but have symptoms, you may be considered presumptive positive for COVID-19.
- People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get necessary medical care should your symptoms worsen. Currently there is no medication to prevent or cure COVID-19. Symptomatic care can include over the counter fever reducing medication, cough suppressants, and fluids.
- Stay in touch with your primary healthcare provider. Please call your provider/local clinic prior to any clinic arrival to minimize exposure risks.
- If your symptoms worsen, such as shortness of breath, contact your local emergency department or call 911.
For more information about COVID-19 and what to do, call:
- SDSU Student Health Clinic and Counseling (8:00am-5:00pm): 605-688-4157
- Avera: 1-877-AT-AVERA
- Sanford Health: 605-333-4444 or 800-445-5788
- South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 info line: 1-800-997-2880
I have been asked to self-quarantine, what does that mean?
If you have been told you must self-quarantine, you need to stay home for 14 days from the time your symptoms started or a potential exposure to COVID-19. Please refer to the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov for the most updated information and education.
Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (> or = to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not share meals, drinks, or utensils. Use your own bathroom if possible.
- Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).