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U.S. “Perilously Close” To Meat Shortage After Major Meat Plant Shuts Down When 293 Workers Test Positive For COVID-19

Among the nation’s biggest manufacturers is closing its doors following 293 of its workers have tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus. Smithfield Foods CEO is warning the closing of a growing list of protein crops over the spread of COVID-19 is pushing our country”perilously close” to a meat shortage.
South Dakota is among those countries that has not enforced a lockdown of its citizens. South Dakota is working on the front lines to help find a remedy for COVID-19. South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced today a rural healthcare provider in their nation will start a clinical trial of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to see whether it can cure or treat COVID-19, announced Monday.  The research, which begins immediately, will include patients including frontline health care workers and first responders, a statement by Sanford Health explained.
What Smithfield foods who’ve already been infected with the Wuhan coronavirus?
The announcement came a day after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and encouraged the company to suspend operations for 14 days so that its workers could self-isolate along with the plant could be disinfected.The plant, which employs about 3,700 men and women in the state’s biggest city, has become a popular place for diseases. Health officials said the 293 of those 730 those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at South Dakota work in the plant. “As a critical infrastructure company for the nation’s food supply chain and a major company in Sioux Falls, it is crucial that Smithfield have a healthy workforce to ensure the continuity of operations to feed the state. At the exact same time, workers require a healthful work environment,” Noem and TenHaken wrote to the plant’s operators.Smithfield announced a three-day closure last week so that it could sanitize the plant and then install physical barriers to enhance social distancing. On Sunday, it announced the plant closure. “The closure of the facility, together with an increasing list of additional protein crops that have shuttered throughout our industry, is our country perilously close to the edge concerning our meat supply,” Smithfield president and CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in an announcement. “It isn’t possible to maintain our grocery shops stocked if our crops aren’t running. These centre closures will have severe, possibly devastating, consequences for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers.”
“We believe it is our duty to help feed the country, today more than ever.

Maggie Seidel, policy director and Noem’s senior advisor, said in an emailed statement Sunday that data and science support a closed to slow down the spread of this virus in the community.
“Clearly, the situation is dynamic and changing by the day. The industry (like the country) needs to fight its way through this scenario — and it will — and make alterations as it affects. As a critical infrastructure business in our nation’s food source, the Army is dedicated to working together to get through this,” Seidel wrote.There has been no evidence that the coronavirus has been transmitted via food or its packaging, according to the Department of Agriculture.

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