South Dakota's meat-processing plants, which have been closed after workers fell sick with COVID-19, are expected to go back online "in a matter of days," Gov. Kristi Noem said Tuesday.
"One of the things we do best in South Dakota is to grow the nation's food and the world's food," the Republican governor said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "We do have an abundance yet, but we are concerned about getting those plants online."
Noem said the state is providing personal protective equipment, and the federal government has helped to ensure there is the testing capability that will allow the state to "aggressively go after any kind of hot spots we might see in the future. We believe we are prepared."
Many meat plants nationwide are in the process of reopening after President Donald Trump's executive order directing them to resume operations, and shortages and higher meat prices are being reported nationwide.
One of the largest shutdowns was at the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which began taking steps to reopen on Monday. The business has been closed for two weeks after coronavirus outbreak infected more than 800 workers.
Noem, however, said Tuesday that even though her state never shut down businesses or ordered residents to shelter in place, it is "doing better than a lot of other states as far as slowing down the spread" of the virus.
"We're in a phase now where we are still advising our vulnerable population to stay home," Noem said.
All governors, though, must determine what is best for their own states, said Noem, as all states are different.
"Our projections in South Dakota have always been based around how we can take care of people should they need to be in the hospital," Noem said, adding that the state should hit its disease peak in mid-June.
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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