1 Death, Around 250 COVID-19 Cases Linked To Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

The first death has been reported among hundreds of coronavirus cases that can be traced to the 10-day bike rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, last month.

One death and around 260 coronavirus cases have been reported and traced back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a 10-day ride that brought hundreds of thousands to South Dakota last month.

Minnesota’s Department of Health reported Wednesday that one biker from the state who attended the rally died after being infected by COVID-19, officials confirmed to CBS Minnesota.

The state’s infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann told The Washington Post that the victim was in his 60s with underlying health conditions and was in intensive care.

Several news outlets, including the Post, also surveyed health departments across several states and, on Wednesday, found around 260 coronavirus cases that could be traced back to the bike rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.

The Post found at least 260 cases linked to the event.

The Dickinson Press, a North Dakota-based paper, logged 263 cases in 11 states, including North Dakota and South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Wisconsin and New Jersey.

CBS News’ coronavirus reporter Max Bayer counted 289 cases, using additional data gathered by CNN and Forum News Service’s health reporter Jeremy Fugleberg.

On Aug. 26, the number of reported coronavirus cases linked to the Sturgis event was around 100.

Ehresmann, Minnesota’s infectious disease official, told The Washington Post that infected people who attended Sturgis’ event may have returned “perhaps to locations that weren’t seeing as much transmission to begin with.”

“You have the potential to amplify transmission in multiple places. That’s what’s concerning from a broader public health standpoint,” Ehresmann said.

Officials in eight states began trying to track which coronavirus cases stemmed from the multiday event in Sturgis, which ended on Aug. 16, The Associated Press reported late August. Over the course of the 10 days, the South Dakota Department of Transportation counted 462,182 vehicles that entered the city, the population of which hovers around 7,000.

The city of Sturgis launched a mass testing effort after the rally in an attempt to track the spread of the virus. However, only 650 residents signed up to be tested and at least 26 people were found positive.

All of the Sturgis residents who tested positive were asymptomatic, according to local ABC affiliate KOTA News.

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