Governor Noem “disappointed” Smithfield Foods didn’t share plan on implementing recommendations

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls is one day closer to being back online, but is no longer working directly with the state of South Dakota.

Governor Kristi Noem says she talked with Smithfield Foods on Saturday, but the Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump last week says the plant no longer answers to the state.

“USDA, CDC, and OEHSA will be conducting any future reviews of Smithfield’s practices. Because of this we know we won’t expect a response to the letter we sent to Smithfield on April 23rd,” Governor Kristi Noem said.

Noem says the CDC did a walkthrough of the plant Monday morning.

“I’m disappointed we never received Smithfield management’s plan on how they’re going to implement CDC’s recommendations for a safe reopening, but despite that, we’ll continue to do all that we can to protect the health of the Smithfield workforce,” Noem said.

Noem’s team worked with Smithfield in recent weeks to identify needs, acquiring 4,000 face shields and 20,000 face masks through FEMA.

Noem is also keeping an eye on the state revenue.

“For March, we’re down $18.1 million in general fund revenue. Now, not all of that is COVID related, some of it’s just due to timing,” Noem said.

Approximately one week of March was directly impacted by COVID-19. It will be another month before we find out the impact in April.

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