Nine of Brown County’s confirmed cases from DemKota Ranch Beef plant

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – Nine of Brown County’s 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are workers at the DemKota Ranch Beef plant, State Epidemiologist Josh Clayton said Thursday.

Those people could have caught the virus at the plant or through community spread, he said.

There was one new case of the virus confirmed in Brown County Thursday, according to numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health. That’s down from seven new cases on Wednesday.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota secretary of health, also confirmed the nine cases involving beef plant employees during a news conference with Gov. Kristi Noem.

“We did have a team at the facility again this morning. We are also working with the community of Aberdeen” on what needs to be done from a safety standpoint, Malsam-Rysdon said.

Testing continues to be made available to anyone with symptoms. The state uses “symptomatic” as a guideline for when a person should be tested for an active case. Close contacts are also being investigated at the plant, Malsam-Rysdon said.

Statewide, the number of cases increased by 98 to 1,956. That does not include people who have had the virus by not shown symptoms or been tested.

There have been nine virus-related deaths in South Dakota and 1,064 recoveries. A total of 119 people have been hospitalized with 58 still in the hospital.

In Brown County, 12 people have recovered and one person has been hospitalized, according to health department numbers.

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