Noem: Shelter-in-place would not have prevented Smithfield’s COVID cases
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says a shelter in place order would not have prevented the Sioux Falls Smithfield plant from becoming a COVID hotspot.
“This plant would have been up and running because it is exempted as an essential business that is a part of our critical infrastructure plan to make sure that we can put food on the table for Americans and across the world,” said Governor Noem.
During a Tuesday briefing, Governor Noem fired back at nationally reported stories suggesting Noem’s resistance to issuing a stay-at-home order might have prevented hundreds of coronavirus cases at the plant.
“That is absolutely false,” said Governor Noem. “It is not true; a shelter in place would have had no impact on what happened at Smithfield.”
At last count, 438 Smithfield employees, plus another 107 family and close contacts of those employees have COVID-19; that’s 70 percent of Minnehaha County’s cases. The plant is closed indefinitely until the crisis passes.
AUDIO: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem