The Latest: Some Smithfield employees return to work

South Dakota News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak in South Dakota (all times local):

6:50 a.m.

Some meatpackers are returning to work at Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls.

The company is opening part of the plant Monday after being closed for more than two weeks.

The meatpacking plant asked about 250 employees to report to work in two departments — ground pork and night cleanup, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers local union.

The coronavirus has infected 853 of the plant’s 3,100 workers.

Smithfield has told employees who are sick, those over 60 or who have existing health problems to stay home, according to the union.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

Meanwhile, OSHA is looking into worker complaints that the plant operated under unsafe conditions, the Argus Leader reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toured the facility last month and recommended several changes to reduce crowding, especially in the break and locker rooms and cafeterias.


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