COVID-19 cases have spiked more than 500% in the weeks after hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists flocked to South Dakota for the famous Sturgis Bike Rally, which drew one of its largest crowds yet this year despite the fast-spreading delta variant.
The annual event kicked off in Meade County on Aug. 6 and wrapped on Aug. 15. Just two days before motorcycle enthusiasts descended on the state, South Dakota reported a total of 657 active cases.
As of Friday, there were 3,992 people battling infections across South Dakota, with an average of 243 new cases and 123 hospitalizations daily. Meade County, home to Sturgis, has counted 330 new cases in the last