SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As concern over a COVID-19 hotspot in Sioux Falls grows, the city’s public health department is working to ensure methods to help stop the spread of the virus are in place.
Public Health Director Jill Franken says her department met with leadership of Smithfield Foods on Thursday. That happened just a day after the state acknowledged more than 80 COVID-19 cases are confirmed in employees of the plant. That prompted plant management to decide to close down the facility for three days.
Franken calls the announcement for a three-day closure “a great decision made.” She said it allows the plant to implement more mitigation measures recommended by the city and allow for proper cleaning.
Franken said during the city’s visit to the plant on Thursday, it was able to validate Smithfield has implemented methods to help stop the spread of COVID-19. She said the city shared additional suggegstions including spacing people out as temperatures are taken before employees enter the plant. The city is also requesting everyone wear a mask, rather than just recommend it.
Franken said the city provided recommendations on enhancing the education for the employees at Smithfield. She said the city is working to help assist passing information in multiple languages. She said the city health department will keep conducting visits at Smithfield.
As for an updated number of cases releated to Smithfield, Franken said state health department has that count. She said the city gets the same infomation as everyone else from the state’s COVID-19 website.
As we move into the Easter weekend, Franken stressed that the holiday needs to look different this year. She says rather than gathering with extended family, people need to focus on social distancing and change traditions.
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