Noem: Hoping to announce Sioux Falls’ Smithfield plant reopening details next week

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced Friday she’s waiting for more federal guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture on meatpacking plants before announcing a date for when the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls will reopen. 

The plant has been closed since the middle of April. 

Home to one of the nation’s top hotspots of the coronavirus, the former John Morell plant is connected to more than 1,000 positive cases. There have been 853 confirmed worker cases and 245 connected cases, with the last change in numbers coming Tuesday, April 28. At least two deaths have been connected to the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls. 

On April 8, the South Dakota Department of Health confirmed 81 cases of COVID-19 were Smithfield Employees. On April 12, Smithfield announced it would close the Sioux Falls plant “indefinitely” and on April 16, the Smithfield plant became the No. 1 hotspot for coronavirus cases in the United States.

On April 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a 15-page report calling on Smithfield Foods to make significant changes at its Sioux Falls pork processing plant.

On April 28, President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act mandating meat processing plants to stay open. Details about what this action will require is still being put together.

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