Scientists have used genomic testing to show how COVID-19 spread from a notorious weeklong motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, over the summer to dozens of Minnesota residents who didn’t even attend.
The question of how much virus was spread by the August event has been the subject of controversy, with one group of economists using cellphone data estimating 266,000 cases could be linked to the rally and others calling that fiction.
But a new study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employed genomic sequencing in virus samples to find similarities among patients and prove the cases were linked.
The results: It identified 51 Minnesotans who got coronavirus from attending the rally—and 35 more residents of that state who contracted it from the original group or from a secondary patient. Four were hospitalized and one died.