Social media post about death of Smithfield employee

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — According to a Facebook post, Agustin Rodriguez was an employee at the Smithfield pork processing plant. The post says Rodriguez has died due to complications of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, South Dakota Department of Health officials confirmed 80 new cases of Smithfield employees in addition to a total of 126 cases connected to those Smithfield Foods employees. That brings the total to 644 cases connected to the plant.

Deaths in South Dakota due to COVID-19 remain at 6. That number hasn’t changed since April 7, this could partially be due to the lengthy process of confirming each death.

Because Smithfield is now the nation’s number one hotspot of COVID-19 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now aiding The State of South Dakota. Governor Kristi Noem said in a tweet that she’s been in frequent communication with Vice President Pence, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the CEO of Smithfield.

“We’re working together on a plan to get the plant open as soon as it’s safe. A CDC team arrives today to help us assess the situation on the ground,” Noem said. 

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