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Coronavirus Prompts Smithfield Foods To Close Sioux Falls Plant Indefinitely

April 13, 2020
The closure comes after officials recommended Smithfield Foods suspend operations for 14 days due to the surge in cases at the Smithfield plant.

Smithfield Foods is closing the doors on its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility indefinitely. That's according to an announcement issued by the company. As one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., the Sioux Falls facility accounts for 4% to 5% of the country's pork production and employs about 3,700 people.

“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply. It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running," said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, for Smithfield.

The closure comes after both South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken penned a letter April 11 to Smithfield Foods with the recommendation to suspend operations for 14 days. The same letter notes that Smithfield's cases accounted for 54% of COVID-19 cases counted in the county. 

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