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Free antigen test kits available during Sturgis Rally

Free antigen test kits available during Sturgis Rally


RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 5, 2021) – To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Monument Health is partnering with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) to provide free antigen COVID-19 test kits to visitors during the rally.


“These over-the-counter tests can detect the presence of a specific viral antigen related to the COVID-19 virus. Although the test is less sensitive than a PCR diagnostic test, it’s a great screening tool to quickly identify those who are likely to be contagious and have the virus,” said Emily Leech, Director of Laboratory Services at Monument Health.

Test users can administer these specific tests on themselves by swabbing their nose, placing the sample in a vial, and waiting for results to appear, usually in about 15 minutes. If the user has a positive antigen test result, they should isolate themselves from others. It’s important to note that a negative antigen test doesn't necessarily mean they are virus-free. False negatives are possible with the antigen tests, especially if the instructions are not followed carefully.


If someone has COVID-19 symptoms and a negative antigen test, they can choose to follow up with a PCR test at one of Monument Health's drive-through locations in Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish, or Sturgis.


 “The SD-DOH is happy to team up with Monument Health to ensure enough COVID-19 testing supplies are readily available to those in the Black Hills, to include this year’s Sturgis attendees,” said Daniel Bucheli, Communications Director at the South Dakota Department of Health. “Testing is key to slowing down virus spread and ensuring those who are positive can take the necessary precautions to isolate themselves to protect others.”  


The test kits will be distributed to Visit Rapid City (718-8484), the Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association Visitor Information Center (355-3700), and other locations. Daniel Ainslie, Sturgis City Manager, said the City of Sturgis (347-4422) will deliver tests to attendees, vendors, residents, and others in Sturgis. Callers will need to provide their names, locations, and phone numbers.