Published March 11, 2020
ROCKVILLE, Md. — An Indian Health Service (IHS) patient from Charles Mix County, South Dakota, is presumed positive for COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus.
Presumed positive means a sample tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 at a state or local laboratory.
A sample is being tested at a CDC lab for confirmation. IHS is working closely with the state to identify anyone else in the community who has been in close contact with the patient and may need to be tested.
IHS says at this time there is no need for members of the community who have not been in close contact with the patient and are not showing symptoms to seek testing.
The IHS will continue to keep its tribal partners informed as the situation develops. For more information on COVID-19 and how to prevent illness, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
All IHS facilities are capable of testing patients for COVID-19. There is no cost to patients for this testing.
Following guidance established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clinicians, including those at the IHS, collect samples with standard specimen collections swabs and access laboratory testing through public health laboratories in their jurisdictions. CDC guidance says clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Decisions on which patients receive testing should be based on the local epidemiology of COVID-19, patient risk or exposures, as well as the clinical course of illness. Clinicians are strongly encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness, including infections such as influenza.