Pork Processing Plan in South Dakota is a COVID hotspot
I read about this in another article about how the meat supply chain may get disrupted because of massive illness in processing plants.
This one doesn't talk about the supply chain specifically, but over 300 workers have tested positive at this pork processing plant in South Dakota. Far away from most hotspots, but somehow it created one of its own. Other than NYC, it has one of the highest infection rates per capita in the nation.
As governors across the country fell into line in recent weeks, South Dakota’s top elected leader stood firm: There would be no statewide order to stay home.
Such edicts to combat the spread of the novelcoronavirus, Gov. Kristi L. Noem said disparagingly, reflected a “herd mentality.” It was up to individuals — not government — to decide whether “to exercise their right to work, to worship and to play. Or to even stay at home.”
And besides, the first-term Republican told reporters at a briefing this month, “South Dakota is not New York City.”
But now South Dakota is home to one of the largest single coronavirus clusters anywhere in the United States, with more than 300 workers at a giant pork-processing plant falling ill. With the case numbers continuing to spike, the company was forced to announce theindefinite closureof the facility Sunday, threatening the U.S. food supply.
Increasingly exasperated local leaders, public health experts and front-line medical workers begged Noemto interveneMonday with a more aggressive state response.
“A shelter-in-place order is needed now. It is needed today,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, whose city is at the center of South Dakota’s outbreak and who has had to improvise with voluntary recommendations in the absence of statewide action.
But the governor continued to resist. Instead, she used a media briefing Monday to announce trialsof a drugthat President Trump hasrepeatedly toutedas a potential breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus, despite a lack of scientific evidence.