By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
GLENWOOD, Iowa (DTN) — Smithfield Foods announced Sunday the company was closing its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility indefinitely after state officials reported the plant accounted for nearly 40% of all COVID-19 cases in the state and South Dakota’s governor on Saturday demanded the plant close for at least two weeks.
Smithfield previously announced it would suspend operations at the pork plant for three days. South Dakota’s state Department of Health on Saturday reported that 238 of the state’s 626 coronavirus cases involved workers at the Smithfield plant, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reported.
Packing plants around the country now are among the most significant hotspots for COVID-19 cases in the country. Tyson, Cargill, JBS SA, National Beef and other major packers have also each faced similar shutdown scenarios. On Friday, JBS announced it would close its Greeley, Colorado, beef plant for at least three days after 36 workers there had tested positive and Colorado media reported two workers from the plant had died.