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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is using COVID-19 relief funds to pay for a $5 million tourism ad campaign, despite a surge in coronavirus cases following the Sturgis motorcycle rally

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is going to use $5 million in coronavirus relief funds on a tourism ad campaign. 

  • South Dakota experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases following last month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which researchers believe might be responsible for more than 19% of all new US cases.

  • The state now ranks second in the country for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, with 439 new cases per 100,000 people, but Noem is actively still encouraging people to visit. 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Related: 25K for world-famous motorcycle rally amid pandemic

In the weeks following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot. 

Despite the spike in infections, the Gov. Kristi Noem decided to spend $5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds on a tourism ad campaign to actively bring outsiders to the state, according to the Associated Press. 

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Almost 20% of cases in past month stem from controversial motorcycle rally, research claims

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A motorcycle rally held in South Dakota in August and attended by hundreds of thousands of Americans from across the country is linked to more than 260,000 Covid-19 cases recorded in the US since 2 August, a new study suggests, with researchers describing the event as a “worst-case scenario” for spreading the disease.

Between 7 and 16 August, around 450,000 people from across the states flocked to Sturgis for the annual 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which featured several concerts and was held despite cases soaring across the country. Last week, a 60-year-old man with underlying health conditions was the first known person thought to have died with coronavirus having attended the event.

The study, by San Diego State University’s Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies, estimates that the 260,000 figure represents around 19 per cent of all virus infections reported in the US between 2 August and

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Health officials in 3 states have traced new COVID-19 cases to the Sturgis motorcycle rally where hundreds of thousands of bikers gathered

Sturgis' motorcycle rally, held between August 7 and 16, was one of the largest public gatherings in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

<p class=Jim Urquhart for Insider

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Sturgis’ motorcycle rally, held between August 7 and 16, was one of the largest public gatherings in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began.
  • Health officials in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota have now traced multiple new COVID-19 cases back to a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, South Dakota between August 7 and 16.

  • The rally, which drew hundreds of thousands of bikers to the 6,900-person city, has been tied to 15 new coronavirus cases in Nebraska, seven in Minnesota, and multiple incidences in South Dakota, according to CNN

  • The event was one of the largest public gatherings in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Less than a week after the close of a massive 10-day motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, health officials in the state, as well

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