coronavirus

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have helped spread coronavirus across Midwest

Motorcyclists ride down Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on 7 August 2020 in Sturgis, South Dakota (Getty)
Motorcyclists ride down Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on 7 August 2020 in Sturgis, South Dakota (Getty)

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in mid-August may have directly led to a spike in cases of Covid-19 across five states.

More than 330 coronavirus cases and one death were directly linked to the rally as of mid-September, according to a Washington Post survey of health departments in 23 states that provided information.

That number likely represents just the tip of the iceberg, according to experts.

Contact tracing often doesn’t capture the source of infection, and asymptomatic spread goes unnoticed.

Within weeks of the Sturgis rally, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Montana were leading the surge in new coronavirus cases.

The Dakotas saw case numbers and rates of hospitalisation rise enormously throughout September, and into October.

It may never be confirmed how many cases stemmed

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How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest

A lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, the 50-year-old construction worker and father of five had been determined to go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a holy grail for bikers. Even when his girlfriend, Angie Balcom, decided to stay back because she was worried about being around so many people during a pandemic, Cervantes was adamant about going.

“I don’t think there was nothing that was going to stop me,” he said.

Back home, Cervantes took Tylenol for his throat and went to bed early. But he woke up the next morning coughing so hard he struggled to catch his breath. Over the next few days, the pain in his chest made him fear that his heart might stop, and a test later confirmed he had the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19. He was admitted to the hospital 11 days later, on Aug. 27. Soon, his girlfriend and his

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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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Smash Mouth frontman mocks coronavirus at packed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally concert

Smash Mouth’s concert on Sunday in front of a packed crowd at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota drew widespread outrage.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of bikers poured into the small city of Sturgis on Friday for the start of the annual motorcycle rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day rally, making it one of the largest events to take place during the pandemic.

South Dakota has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks.

The band was one of the headliners at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip music festival.

Smash Mouth was one of several musical acts — including Trapt, Night Ranger, Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Reverend Horton Heat, 38 Special, Quiet Riot and Big Skillet — to play at the multi-day festival where admission to the entire event cost $360 per person, according to the Buffalo Chip website.

Videos and photos posted

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