Expect to see higher daily COVID-19 case numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health.

Dakota News Now reports the state is now adding 'probable cases' to the confirmed case count. State health officials say the modification is in line with guidance from the CDC's national surveillance case definition.

Probable cases are measured by using rapid antigen testing. If a patient previously had COVID-19 but has since recovered, antigen testing will disclose it.

47 new probable cases statewide were added on Wednesday. When those cases are added to the 562 cases confirmed through traditional PCR testing, Wednesday's subtotal rises to 609.

The state is also posting an additional 421 retroactive 'probable cases' to Wednesday's count a grand total of 1,030.

What's the difference between “confirmed” and “probable" to the average person?

“I would say the distinction between probable and confirmed to the average person is nil,” Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said. “Because they will be treated the same as being positive for COVID, and they should take those necessary precautions.”

Whether a person is classified as probable or confirmed, the state conducts contact tracing and recommends quarantine measures.

Malsam-Rysdon said South Dakota will receive 260,000 antigen tests from the federal government by the end of December. The federal government is using this type of test in long-term care facilities, schools, and other entities across the country.

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