State Watch

South Dakota company organizes parade thanking governor for handling of coronavirus crisis

Stefani Reynolds

A South Dakota construction company on Tuesday organized a parade to go past Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) residence to thank her for the way she has handled the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

In a video posted to her Facebook page, Noem said the procession, organized by John Morris of Fort Pierre-based Morris Inc., was “literally hundreds of cars” as well as fire trucks, tow trucks and horse trailers, adding that “it was overwhelming to me.”

“I just want to tell everybody thank you, and thank you to John for organizing it,” Noem added. “Just know that I’m extremely humbled to be your governor, and blessed. … Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

South Dakota was one of a handful of states that never imposed stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.

However, the Smithfield pork plant in Sioux Falls is one of the largest known hot spots for the virus in the U.S., with more than 600 positive cases, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend multilingual signage and workers to be issued a new face mask every day.

At least one worker at the plant, Augustin Rodriguez, has died from the virus. Company officials reportedly continued operations at the plant and offered any worker who did not miss any shifts at the plant a $500 “responsibility bonus.”

Tags Coronavirus Kristi Noem South Dakota
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