Results from mass testing event of Smithfield employees start to show


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Thousands of Smithfield employees and their families have now been tested for COVID-19. The results from the mass testing event are starting to come in, accounting for a portion of Thursday’s 101 new positive cases in Minnehaha County.

Over the past three days, South Dakota health officials have tested about 3,200 Smithfield employees and their family members for COVID-19.

“We do not have the specific results for Minnehaha County separated out between the regular testing that’s going on and the mass testing event. Those are reported at the county level,” Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

Nursing homes remain an area of concern. The CDC recently released new guidelines about testing when there are positive cases among residents.

“We’ll be doing some additional work with the nursing home industry and the state to make sure that they understand that guidance and have the appropriate things in place to follow that,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

Governor Kristi Noem expects to have a clearer picture of state revenue losses for April by early June, but believes South Dakota will be in a better position than many other states.

“There have been some preliminary reports that our job losses have not been as dramatically impacted as many other states and that’s good news for the families that live here,” Governor Kristi Noem said.

Noem also continues to seek guidance from the Treasury on her ability to spend a portion of the $1.25 billion stimulus package to meet state budget needs.

“Treasury does feel that the language that was in the legislation that was passed is pretty restrictive, so there may need to be some statutory changes that come in another bill that would pass through Congress in order for that to happen,” Noem said.

The timing of a special legislative session will likely be linked to Noem’s ability to spend those federal funds.

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