Home » Economy » Coronavirus cases tied to giant South Dakota pork-processing plant surpass 500
Coronavirus cases tied to giant South Dakota pork-processing plant surpass 500
Smithfield Foods CEO: US processing plants must operate even amid coronavirus
Smithfield CEO Ken Sullivan discusses how the coronavirus is impacting the U.S. pork supply industry.
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There have been 518 employees at a Smithfield Foods processing plant in South Dakota and 126 of their close contacts who have contracted coronavirus, state health officials said at a press conference on Wednesday.
That's up from the 438 employees and 107 of their contacts recorded as of Tuesday evening. The plant, which employs about 3,700 people in the state's largest city, has become a hot spot for infections. It makes up roughly half of South Dakota's total case count and is comparable in size to the nearly 600-person outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
MEAT SHORTAGE COMING IF CORONAVIRUS CLOSES PROCESSING PLANTS: SMITHFIELD FOODS CEO
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called for the temporary closure of the plant this weekend, and Smithfield Foods CEO Ken Sullivan warned of a possible meat shortage after complying.
"We have to be able to process those pigs in the plants," Sullivan said on "Mornings with Maria" on Wednesday. "When the plants don't operate, we don't even have the meat to sell."