Sanford Health unveils rapid COVID-19 test


Sanford Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, with two hospitals in Fargo, has announced they’ll be unveiling 90-minute rapid COVID-19 tests.

According to Sanford Health’s Dr. James Volk, Vice President of Clinic at Sanford Health in Fargo, the tests will initially be used for the highest priority patients, including those currently in the hospital, health care workers and elderly adults in long-term care facilities.

The tests are currently available in only Sioux Falls and Fargo, but Volk says its their hope to expand out to other Sanford locations in Bismarck and Bemidji, possibly within the next week. He says that depends on the shipment of supplies.

As far as how the new testing will affect their testing capacity, Volk says the new tests will increase capabilities by 1,500 tests per week.

Those in the northern part of the network of Sanford facilities will have their tests sent to the Fargo location, where the tests will be read and reported. Sending them to Fargo, instead of Sioux Falls, for the northern valley will cut down on the transport time, as the transport time from places like Bemidji to Fargo is only two hours one way, compared to five hours, one way, to Sioux Falls.

The Sanford Lab can process up to 16 tests at a time in 90 minutes.