Dakota Provisions confirms 2 employees at Huron plant diagnosed with COVID-19

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 12:25 PM CDT
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Two employees at a meat processing plant in Huron have tested positive for COVID-19.

Dakota Provisions confirmed the positive tests on Friday.

President Ken Rutledge said the two employees were diagnosed Thursday. They last worked at the company's East Plant on Tuesday afternoon, and were sent home due to feeling ill.

Rutledge said upon hearing of the two positive tests, the entire Dakota Provision Ready-To-Eat department, the only department working at the time, was immediately sent home and told to self-monitor, report any symptoms and stay at home until no earlier than Monday afternoon.

Employees will be screened when they return to work Monday, the company said. Additional cleaning at the plant is currently taking place, and officials say they had already previously begun extra cleaning procedures.

Rutledge said Dakota Provisions has been following local, state, and national guidelines since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.

Meat processing plants across the country have been particularly by COVID-19 due to the close-quarters nature of the industry. Several plants, including the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, were temporarily closed due to outbreaks.