Noem addresses Smithfield COVID-19 hotspot, promotes app to help with contact tracing

Coronavirus

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Noem started Thursday’s briefing discussing the Smithfield Food plant. She says she has been in contact with the CEO and she appreciates what the company is doing to keep employees safe. Each week, the plant produces 130 million servings of pork at the Sioux Falls plant, Noem said.

The Department of Health says it doesn’t have concerns with the food product coming out of the Smithfield Plant. Noem noted that there is a concern for employees and a desire to protect them, along with their families.

Noem says the state has been in communication with other food processing plants across the area to protect workforces.

As COVID-19 case numbers go up across the area, the state is introducing a new tool. Noem says South Dakotans can download an app called Care 19 to log their locations. If they should happen to test postive for the virus, the app can help make the contact tracing process easier for the state Department of Health. The app is unanimous and Noem says you can delete the data at any time.

Noem says she continues to have phone calls with mayors across the state, reminding them about the importance of social distancing.

Noem says she wants everyone to understand their personal role in protecting themselves.

The governor reminded everyone the state of South Dakota will more than likely not peak until June.

In addition to wanting people to continue with social distaning, Noem says she’d like for more testing to be done at a faster rate to help identify hotspots. She noted that she is also interested in testing therapeutics in South Dakota.


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