Brown County COVID-19 cases climbing


BROWN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — More than three weeks ago Brown County had 15 cases of COVID-19. Today it has 107 cases.

Although it’s not a national hotspot, that’s an increase of nearly five cases per day over the past 22 days. The cases places the county third in all cases in the state.

The 107 cases as of today is an increase of 14 from May 7.

The first case of COVID-19 in the county was in late March.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon said during Friday’s news briefing that South Dakota Department of Health is working with with healthcare providers who are doing extremely aggressive in the Brown County.

Malsam-Rysdon said the DOH is evaluating mass testing in Brown County.

The number of cases on Brown County lags far behind the 2,535 cases in Minnehaha County. It’s much closer to the 150 in Lincoln County.

Also, the growth in Brown County cases has not been as rapid as in Minnehaha County.

Yet, top county and Brown County share some similarities. Both Minnehaha County and Brown County had COVID-19 cases in employees who work at meat packing plants.

DemKota is a beef processing plant in Aberdeen and 61 cases were DemKota employees.

Smithfield is a pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, and more than 800 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Smithfield had 81 employee cases on April 8. That number was 435 on April 14 and 518 on April 15.

In less than a month cases in employees reached 853 and contact cases reached 245. The cases reached 853 on April 28 and contact cases reached 245 on April 27. The state DOH discontinued citing the number Smithfield cases on May 7 because the site was no longer described as a cluster.

The increases in COVID-19 cases come as the county’s largest city, Aberdeen, rolled back some COVID-19 restrictions on April 30.

Aberdeen LiveCam

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