Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Linked To COVID-19 Outbreak Across Upper Midwest

The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will go down in infamy as a “superspreader event” that led to hundreds of thousands COVID-19 cases spanning several states and cost billions of dollars for public health care agencies. It was the nearly two-week event in August that drew half a million attendees, some of whom saw Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell tell a packed crowd, “We’re all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID shit.”

And while the Sturgis rally is directly linked to 330 cases, experts believe it could be responsible for the Upper Midwest outbreak in the United States, according to a new report from the Washington Post. 

The rally took place in South Dakota where no restrictions on gatherings were being imposed. Even as health officials pleaded with possible attendees to skip this year’s event, many were defiant over the belief that their freedoms were being taken away. Many

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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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