Minnesota health officials concerned about Sturgis COVID-19 risk
Outbreaks at large events have officials watching, many fearing new variant
August 6, 2021
Revved-up riders are rumbling by the hundreds of thousands back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which starts Friday, raising concerns for health officials that they could spread the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and bike it back home.
Epidemiologists last year found transmission chains of riders who brought the virus back to Minnesota, and they said the ingredients exist again this year despite the availability of COVID-19 vaccine.
"The risk increases with larger groups and longer durations of exposure, especially in settings where there may be many unvaccinated people and social distancing and wearing masks aren't routinely practiced," the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. "Any event or setting that is conducive to spreading the virus will continue to allow more variants to develop, undermining the gains we have already made with this virus."