At least 100 coronavirus cases in eight states are being linked to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which took place Aug. 7 to 16 in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Roughly 500,000 vehicles typically attend the event, and this year, the South Dakota Transportation Department recorded around 460,000 vehicles. Health experts expressed their concerns over having so many people attend the event in the middle of a pandemic, but South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) ignored them and said the rally was going to go on as planned.
The health departments in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington have all reported cases linked to Sturgis, with the South Dakota Health Department confirming with ABC News that a tattoo shop employee and patron who visited multiple bars around Sturgis have tested positive.
On Sturgis’ opening day, there were 9,000 reported COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, and as of Wednesday, there are 11,500, ABC News reports. The state’s positivity rate also increased from six percent for the two weeks before Aug. 7 to nine percent for the two weeks before Aug. 26. Catherine Garcia