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Mass testing of Smithfield and DemKota workers

Mass COVID-19 testing of workers at the Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota shows a 24% positive rate out of 36-hundred tested.

South Dakota Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon is pleased with the preliminary results and the long-term benefit will be slowing down the spread of the virus because those who are positive are isolated…

“We’ve seen other situations involving other similar types of folks that work together very closely where we’ve seen much higher positive rates. I was pleased that it wasn’t higher than 24%.”

Smithfield Foods reopened in Sioux Falls last Thursday.

Malsam-Rysdon, at Governor Noem (nome)’s briefing Monday said the state has also conducted COVID-19 testing at the DemKota beef plant in Aberdeen and the plant is doing a “great job” – “They are doing symptom checks twice a day with their workforce. They’ve installed physical barriers between work stations to help protect folks. We’ve been able to provide some PPE and they now have masks and face shields for all of their employees who need them.”

She says there were 76 cases at DemKota over the past three-and-a-half weeks.

Overall, Malsom-Rysdon says COVID-19 cases are going down in South Dakota.

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