Governor Noem, Sioux Falls mayor ask Smithfield Foods to temporarily shutdown
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has asked Smithfield Foods President and C.E.O. Ken Sullivan to suspend operations for at least 14 days due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the meat-processing factory.
During her Saturday afternoon press conference, Governor Noem shared that she and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken had written to Sullivan asking for his cooperation, today.
Friday, 190 cases were reported from Smithfield. Saturday, another 48 were identified.
In the letter they stated that 54 percent of the total cases in Minnehaha County are Smithfield Employees.
In letter: “Based on this we recommend that Smithfield suspend operations for a minimum of 14 days as soon as possible to protect your employees, their families, the Sioux Falls community and the State of South Dakota. The isolation period is consistent with what we understand to be the incubation period of COVID-19 based on the facts and science available as of the date of this letter.”
In the conference, Noem also addressed the latest COVID-19 statistics in South Dakota.
The curve, projecting COVID-19 case numbers and virus longevity in the state, is flattening. As the peak flattens though, the peak of the virus grows farther away.
Currently, the peak for COVID-19 in the state is estimated for around early June.