South Dakota is one of a very few states that has refused to take steps to protect their citizens from the pandemic. The governor said it’s a rural state and doesn’t need extraordinary measures.

She was wrong. One of the nation’s largest meat processors is located in South Dakota and it is closing down because so many of its employees have the coronavirus. Smithfield employees account for half the coronavirus cases in the state.

The owner of the plant says that other plants are in the same trouble and warns of a threat to the nation’s food supply.

One of the country’s largest pork processing facilities is closing until further notice as employees fall ill with Covid-19. The closure puts the country’s meat supply at risk, said the CEO of Smithfield, which operates the plant.

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,” the meat processor’s chief executive, Kenneth Sullivan, said in a statement Sunday.

“It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running,” he said. “These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain.”