Motorcycle rally in South Dakota sparked COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 22, 2020

About one-third of counties ended up having at least one coronavirus case that was tied to August's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, investigators reported in a study mainly conducted by Minnesota health officials and published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The motorcycle rally was held in a neighboring state that did not have policies regarding event size and mask use, underscoring the implications of policies within and across jurisdictions".

The rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, took place between August 7-20 and took in over 460,000 attendees.

"These findings highlight the importance of reducing the number of attendees at gatherings and emphasizing mask use, physical distancing, isolation for patients with COVID-19, and quarantine for close contacts as strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19", the report stated.

CDC officials did not immediately answer a question about any other research assessing the Sturgis rally's impact on other states.

Walz, a Democrat, said the Sturgis rally was "absolutely unnecessary".

At the time, health experts feared the Sturgis rally would become a superspreader event, with thousands of people from all over the country attending, and numerous events held indoors.

South Dakota is one of three states, including North Dakota and Nebraska, reporting over 500 hospitalizations per million people, according to the COVID Tracking Project, as COVID-19 surges in the Midwest.

In fact, months later, we have found out that concern was valid, and the event did impact an increase of local Covid-19 cases in Minnesota.

Noem has not issued any restrictions during the pandemic, instead encouraging residents to "exercise personal responsibility and make smart choices".

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