First@4: SD COVID-19 cases rise; TenHaken sends shelter-in-place to city council; Noem denies TenHaken’s requests Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)- Here is a look at Tuesday’s headlines:

The South Dakota Department of Health announced 120 new positive coronavirus cases on Tuesday. 

114 of the 120 cases were located in Minnehaha county.  The state total is now at 988 cases, while the recoveries are up to 261.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken calls the growth of COVID-19 cases in the area “nerve wracking.”

As he waits for Governor Kristi Noem to respond to his request for a shelter-in-place order for Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, TenHaken said there will be a notice for a city-wide ‘Shelter-in-Place’ order for Sioux Falls. The first reading of that notice will be Wednesday at the city council meeting.

TenHaken says a lot could change between the first reading on Wednesday and the second reading on next Tuesday. He emphasized the final decision on the local order is up to the city council.

In a press conference in Pierre on Tuesday, Governor Kristi Noem announced that Smithfield Foods has 438 employees with COVID-19. 107 more positive cases have come from contact with those employees meaning Smithfield Foods has built a hotspot of 545 cases, the second largest in the country. 

Noem also denied two requests from Mayor Paul TenHaken including a stay at home order for Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.

A guest at a homeless shelter in Sioux Falls has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House Executive Director Madeline Shields confirms to KELOLAND News an adult has the virus. The shelter was notified by Minnehaha County Tuesday morning.

Shields says the person stayed there April 6, 8 – 10, and 12. The person was taken to Sanford Health Monday evening after acting lethargic and confused.

Walk into a food processing plant in parts of South Dakota, Iowa or Minnesota and there’s a good chance a person would find workers who don’t speak English as their first language.

The federal government had declared the meat packing industry and its employees as essential and operations continue.

Communicating on a daily basis with such employees is part of the operation. Protecting their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical, according to two meat packing plants in Iowa and Minnesota.

Just weeks after prompting the Legislature as a safety measure to cast votes remotely for the first time, the coronavirus is leading to another first, in the way South Dakota holds its statewide elections.

Secretary of State Steve Barnett is mailing absentee-ballot applications to almost every registered voter in South Dakota for the June primary elections. Local auditors are taking the responsibility in Douglas, Meade and Perkins counties.

The only voters who won’t get the forms are those who have already requested absentee ballots.

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