Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Linked to More Than 260,000 Coronavirus Cases, Economists Estimate


September 9, 2020

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota has been linked to more than 260,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to a recent study by a group of economists.

The rally, which occurred between August 7 and August 16, drew an estimated 462,182 people from around the country. Local news reports suggest that, in addition to the large crowds, there was little mask-wearing and social distancing among attendees, causing health experts to fear it would become a COVID-19 "super-spreader" event.

In a report published by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, four economists used anonymized cellphone data, local health records and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conclude that an estimated 266,796 coronavirus cases could be attributed to the rally.


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