The number of positive COVID-19 tests has exploded in Dakota County, with officials reporting more than double the cases Thursday that had been reported in the previous 10 days.
A news release from the Dakota County Health Department noted 133 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total in the county to 246, all coming in the past 11 days.

The breakdown of cases, according to the DCHD, includes 14 who are under age 20, 87 who are age 21-40, 119 aged 41-59 and 26 cases for those aged 60 and older.
Many of the new cases are believed to be coming from employees working at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City, but Tyson officials refuse to release any details regarding the number of employees who have tested positive for the virus. Tyson has already had numerous positive test results reported at its Nebraska facilities in Madison and Lexington, and also in two of its Iowa locations in Waterloo and Perry.
In a news release Thursday, Dakota County Health Department said it is working “very closely” with Tyson Fresh Meats and providing recommendations on steps the facility can take to enhance employee safety. Officials from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have toured the facility and were able to see additional prevention measures Tyson has implemented for its workforce, including:
— Checking worker temperatures as they arrive at the facility, if a team member has a temperature of 100.4 or above they are sent home.
— Mandating and providing face coverings.
— Providing additional cleaning.
— Increasing social distancing, such as installing workstation dividers and providing more break room space.
— Relaxing its attendance policy to encourage workers to stay at home when they’re sick.
— Educating team members on COVD-19, including the importance of following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they’re away from work.
— When Tyson learns an employee has experienced symptoms and has tested positive for COVID-19, they remain on sick leave until they are released by health officials to return to work. Tyson also notifies anyone who has been in close contact with the positive team member.