South Dakota meat packing plant becomes the country’s main coronavirus hotspot as governor avoids staying at home

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The number of South Dakota residents who tested positive for coronavirus has exceeded 1,100, and more than half of these cases are related to Smithfield Foods Pork Processing Plant at Sioux Falls. This comes as Governor Kristi Noem reiterated on Tuesday that she would not order people to stay at home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to CBS affiliate KELO-TV.

Health officials said Wednesday that an additional 180 people tested positive for COVID-19 on the last day, bringing the total to 1,168 confirmed cases nationwide. Of these, 934 cases were in Minnehaha County, home of the Smithfield Foods plant, making the site one of the largest known clusters of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

As of Wednesday, 644 people connected to the factory were infected, including 518 employees.

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