State reports 50 new cases; Brown County total remains same

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – There were 50 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health Monday, with none in Brown or Codington counties.

The statewide total is 1,685, with 1,405 of those in Minnehaha County, home of the Smithfield pork packing plant. There have been 20 confirmed cases in Brown County and 13 in Codington.

So far, one positive case as been attributed to a DemKota Ranch Beef employee and one case was identified as a new hire at Molded Fiber Glass, said State Epidemiologist Josh Clayton. Both businesses are in Aberdeen.

“As part of our support for businesses, we have a team that was developed to support when we do have a case in a business. We did provide tech support,” he said.

There were no specific recommendations issued to those businesses beyond a technical review of DemKota’s processes, Clayton said.

DemKota will transition to a split-shift schedule for production at the plant, which will reduce production by 50% with operations set at a slower speed. DemKota is also offering a voluntary leave of absence with job protection and continued health care benefits for production employees, according to a statement sent to employees.

There have been 401 negative tests and 11 recoveries in Brown County and 372 negative tests and 12 recoveries in Codington County, per state statistics.

Statwide, there have been seven deaths, 87 hospitalizations and 709 recoveries, according to the health department.

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