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Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls reopening

The plant has been closed since April 15 but will now ramp up to full production.

3D print of a SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—virus particle. The virus surface (blue) is covered with spike proteins (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells. National Institutes of Health

PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem announced Monday, May 11 that Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls is reopening after closing due to a COVID-19 outbreak last month.

The outbreak made the pork processing plant one of the largest hotspots in the country.

The plant has been closed since April 15 but will now ramp up to full production.

Noem thanked Lutheran Social Services for providing language interpreter services to Smithfield employees.

The state has also help set up mass testing events for Smithfield employees.


South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon noted the state's efforts to help contain an outbreak at DemKota Ranch Beef plant in Aberdeen during Monday's press conference.

"We’ve had 76 cases associated with DemKota over the last 3.5 weeks," Malsam-Rysdon said.

Malsam-Rysdon said that the state Department of Health has visited the beef plant several times over the last few weeks and said the plant has been doing symptom checks twice a day with their workforce and installed physical barriers between work stations.

The state has also made testing available for all DemKota employees and their family members within the Aberdeen community.

"The daily contacts we’ve been able to have within this facility are a great example of the partnerships we strive to have within the state of South Dakota," Malsam-Rysdon said, adding, "If you have questions if you’re an employer, please reach out to us."

The beef plant is located within Brown County, which has 78 active cases as of Monday, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.

Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota are at 1,393, an increase of 57 from Sunday.

Total positive confirmed cases in South Dakota have increased by 97 since Sunday, for a total of 3,614 in the state.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, are at 2,187, an increase of 40 cases.


Current hospitalizations in South Dakota are at 78, up one from Sunday. Total hospitalizations in the state are at 263, up two from Sunday. The total number of deaths remains at 34, health officials said.

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