COVID19

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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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. 

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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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250,000 Bikers To Attend South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Despite COVID-19

Despite COVID-19 concerns, the biggest biker event in South Dakota is still set to proceed with slight modifications, likely attracting hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders to Sturgis and the surrounding Black Hills mountain region starting Friday this week.

The 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which will run until Aug. 16, is “an icon of American Freedom and Independence,” according to a press release put out on the Sturgis website in June that announced a “modified” version of the event.  

“After considering many options, the City Council voted in favor of moving forward with preparations for the large influx of tourists and participants coming to enjoy the Black Hills, with a focus on preserving the safety of our residents,” the release reads. “Attendees will be asked to be respectful of the community concerns by practicing social distancing and taking personal responsibility for their health by following CDC guidelines.”

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