Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Revved by Sturgis Rally, COVID-19 infections move fast, far


August 25, 2020

Amy Harris – Associated Press

Fans attended a performance by Saul at the Iron Horse Saloon on Aug. 14 during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, in Sturgis, S.D. South Dakota health officials warned Thursday, Aug. 20, that a number of people who attended the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this month, including some who came from out of state, have come down with COVID-19.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The hundreds of thousands of bikers who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have departed western South Dakota, but public health departments in multiple states are trying to measure how much and how quickly the coronavirus spread in bars, tattoo shops and gatherings before people traveled home to nearly every state in the country.

From the city of Sturgis, which is conducting mass testing for its roughly 7,000 residents, to health departments in at least six states, health officials are trying to track outbreaks from the 10-day rally which ended on Aug. 16. They face the task of tracking an invisible virus that spread among bar-hoppers and rallygoers, who then traveled to over half of the counties in the United States.

An analysis of anonymous cell phone data from Camber Systems, a firm that aggregates cell phone activity for health researchers, found that 61% of all the counties in the U.S. have been visited by someone who attended Sturgis, creating a travel hub that was comparable to a major U.S. city.


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