Governor signs executive order to help pig producers and forms a review committee for reopening the economy

Coronavirus

South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem signed another executive order Monday to help hog producers in the state, who are struggling due to the closure of several pork processing plants in the region.

She also announced the state has formed a medical review committee that’ll be looking at the president’s plan to reopen the country.

Governor Noem says there’s no timeline to reopen Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, but says the CDC, which toured the plant last week, is preparing a final report.

She expects that will give some guidance on when the facility can reopen.

In the meantime, Governor Noem signed an executive order Monday to help producers.

“This will give them some flexibility on what they can do on their operations, it still requires them to maintain soil and nutrient management on their operations but will allow some flexibility on head counts for a few weeks until we get the opportunity to get plants back open and online,” Noem said.

Smithfield was processing up to 4,000 hogs a day, but closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Monday morning, state health officials confirmed 891 cases are connected to the plant.

That includes employees and people they’ve been in contact with.

The governor has also formed a medical review committee that’s made up of health care professionals from all three major hospitals that’ll be in charge of reviewing the president’s plan to reopen the country.

“The purpose of this group is to consider and review the opening up America again plan from the White House and to make recommendations for a South Dakota specific plan these are going to be medical recommendations, testing capabilities how testing should work going forward and contact tracing,” Noem said.

The governor also spoke with Vice President Mike Pence Monday over the phone.

She says her main conversation with him focused on getting more testing supplies to South Dakota.

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