Meatpackers cautiously reopen plants amid coronavirus fears

Virus Outbreak South Dakota

The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., is seen Wednesday, April 8, 2020, where health officials reported more than 80 employees have confirmed cases of the coronavirus (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota pork processing plant took its first steps toward reopening after a virus outbreak among workers that was one of the worst in the nation.

Smithfield Foods shuttered its Sioux Falls plant for over two weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak that infected over 800 employees. Two departments opened Monday at the plant.

Meat processing plants across the country are cautiously reopening after President Donald Trump’s executive order last week classified them as critical infrastructure.

Workers, farmers and meat-eaters alike are watching to see if new safety measures will be enough to prevent the types of outbreaks that have torn through the workforce of many plants.

Categories: Coronavirus, South Dakota News