SIOUX FALLS, SD. – Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota health secretary, confirmed during a press conference on April 8 that more than 80 employees at Smithfield Foods Inc.’s John Morrell pork plant in Sioux Falls have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the South Dakota Department of Health website, there are 228 confirmed cases in Minnehaha Country, where the majority of Sioux Falls sits. Forty-one people have recovered from COVID-19.
According to a statement from Smithfield, “out of respect for our employees’ legal privacy,” the company would not confirm COVID-19 cases in its facilities.
On March 26, Smithfield Foods reported its first case at the facility in Sioux Falls.
The company provided more information on its website on precautionary steps it is taking during the pandemic.
“At all of our locations, we have enhanced the cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces and are continuing to stress the importance of personal hygiene,” Smithfield said. “All our facilities and farms operate under strict biosecurity, which currently restricts all nonessential visitors.”