Noem using ‘science, facts and data’ to reject TenHaken’s shelter-in-place, isolation center requests; Smithfield COVID-19 cases make it second largest hotspot in country


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) addressed the 120 new COVID-19 cases in the state Tuesday afternoon. The latest coronavirus update from the South Dakota Department of Health increased the state’s total positive cases to 988. 

Noem said we can’t stop the spread of COVID-19; instead, the state is focused on slowing the spread.

“We are flattening our curve in South Dakota,” Noem said.

The governor said a shelter in place order in the past would not have had an impact on the outbreak at Smithfield Foods plant because it is part of the essential food system.

Instead, a targeted, intense approach is being used in connection with the hotspot at Smithfield, the governor said. Smithfield is tied to 70% of Minnehaha County cases, according to the governor. 107 positive patients had contact with Smithfield employees; there are 438 cases in the workers. That brings the total COVID-19 cases with a connection to the plant to 545.

According to New York Times analysis, this would now make the Smithfield Plant the second largest hotspot in the country, surpassing Chicago’s Cook County Jail and just under the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.

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