Smithfield closes South Dakota pork plant due to coronavirus

Virus Outbreak Meat Plant
Posted at 3:47 PM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 15:48:59-04

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Virginia-based Smithfield Foods is closing its pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, until further notice, after dozens of employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The announcement came a day after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and urged the company to suspend operations for 14 days.

As of Sunday, 293 people who work at the plant have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and the company announced an indefinite closure.

CEO Kenneth Sullivan says closing the facility, and other closures in the industry, could have severe repercussions in the meat supply chain.