Brown County virus total hits 65, 41 are beef plant workers

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – The number of COVID-19 cases in Brown County continues to tick up.

Six new cases were confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health on Monday. That pushes the total to 65.

Of those, 41 are employees at DemKota Ranch Beef on the south side of Aberdeen, said Josh Clayton, state epidemiologist.

He said the state is working with the beef processing plant, but that there’s no way to know when the number of beef plant-related virus cases will plateau or start to decrease. Trying to predict that would be speculative, he said.

Two people in Brown County have been hospitalized, according to the state. That’s up one.

There have been no deaths in Brown County, with 27 people recovered and 655 negative tests.

With the number of local cases increasing, the Brown County Emergency Management Department encouraged residents to maintain healthy practices to avoid the virus. CDC guidelines include:

  • Cleaning hands often, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Avoiding close contact with other people, staying home when possible and practicing physical distancing when out of the house.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting touched surfaces frequently.
  • Wearing a cloth face cover out in the public.

At-risk people need to do what’s best for them, per the release.

“As the total number of tests being performed goes up we will probably see an increase in positive cases,” it read.

Statewide, there are 37 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the health department. No new deaths were reported, with that number holding at 21.

Those cases push the state total to 2,668. That does not include people who have had the virus but have not been tested.

Statewide, 1,830 people have recovered, 211 have ever been hospitalized, and there have been 16,045 negative tests.

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