In a statement made after press deadline for this week's issue of the True Dakotan, Kevin McAdams, President - North America, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks confirmed that an employee who worked at the Alpena plant passed away as a result of COVID-19 related complications.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a team member who worked at our Alpena, South Dakota plant has passed away as a result of COVID-19 related complications. Our entire Jack Link’s family mourns the loss of our fellow team member, and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family, friends, and co-workers,” stated Kevin McAdams, President - North America.
“At every Jack Link’s facility, we conduct daily discussions with all team members, reinforcing safety protocols regarding their daily activities and how to stay safe both inside and outside of work, including conducting daily temperature and symptom checks outside all plants and having mandatory protective equipment and sanitation supplies readily available. Since the COVID-19 situation began we have taken numerous proactive measures in order to protect the safety of our valued team members and the communities in which they live and work, and are following a series of strict protocols which were developed in accordance with guidance from the CDC and USDA.”
“During this incredibly difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family. Our top priorities remain the well-being and safety of our team members and their families, the food safety of our products, and excellent service to our customers. We continue to closely monitor the situation and actively communicate with our team members.”
After holding at six for weeks, Jerauld Co. COVID-19 positive cases jump to 29
On May 20, after holding at six positive cases since April 24, the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) announced four new positive COVID-19 cases in Jerauld County, bringing the total number of local cases to 10. Over the past week, positive cases continued to grow and at press deadline on May 26, Jerauld County cases totaled 29. Of the positive cases, 11 had recovered, and the county total for negative test results was 64. Jerauld is listed as a county with substantial community spread, meaning there are more than five cases of community-acquired COVID-19 in a county or a distinct group of cases in a single area.
SDDOH announced Tuesday that LSI Jack Link’s in Alpena has a total of 58 positive cases, with 12 recovered.
A Jack Link’s spokesperson issued a statement in response to the cases: “We confirm that team members at our facility in Alpena have tested positive for COVID-19 and we are following our strict protocols with respect to these positive test results. Our protocols were developed in accordance with guidance from the CDC and USDA. Our top priorities are the well-being and safety of our team members, the food safety of our products, and excellent service to our customers. The CDC says there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through food, and we are confident that all food coming out of the facility is safe.”
The spokesperson continued, “We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, check in with our team members who have been impacted and share updates with our team members as we receive them.”
Area businesses respond with new protocols
In response to the uptick in cases, several local businesses have made modifications to their operations.
Alpena Co-Op: Closed to in-person visitors. Staff will meet customers at the door.
Springs Food Market: Curbside and delivery only.
Jensen's True Value: Curbside and delivery only.
Jerauld County Courthouse: After being closed Tuesday, May 26 for deep cleaning and sanitizing, the courthouse will reopen Wednesday, May 27 but remain locked to the public until further notice. The public is encouraged to call office staff within the courthouse to set up an appointment, or to get direction on how to handle business. All office numbers will be listed on the outside doors of the courthouse. When visiting for an appointment, wearing a mask is suggested.
Springs Country Club: The country club is still open and taking orders via telephone if patrons do not want to enter the building, 539-1944.
Baker’s Design/Repair: Shop doors are locked, call the shop for assistance 539-9800. Baker’s Design lobby is open, masks are required to enter the building. Hand sanitizer provided inside the door. Curbside and no-contact delivery continues to be available.
Jerauld County updates will be made daily on the True Dakotan website, please visit www.truedakotan.com