The COVID-19 numbers are in following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The annual event attracts hundreds of thousands of bikers, and this year was no exception even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The testing following the rally took place on Aug. 21, 24, and 25, according to Keoland. Monument Health administered the testing.
The City of Sturgis contracted for up to 1,300 tests. The number represents 20% of the community. However, over the course of the three testing dates, health professionals tested 650 people. In total, 26 people tested positive for COVID-19.
Testing was reserved for several groups of people in the city. The groups include city employees, school district employees, residents or Sturgis, and employee of private businesses in the community.
For city employees, 83 underwent testing with 3 coming back positive. For school district employees, 35 tests resulted in 1 positive result. Of the front-line workers, 217 were tested with 11 positive results. Lastly, health professionals tested 315 residents and walk-ins with 11 positive results.
At the time of testing, all were asymptomatic. Also worth noting, no first responders underwent testing. According the Department of Health, asymptomatic positives range from 3% to 7%. The average for Sturgis testing lands at 4%.
Was the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Still a ‘Super Spreader’ Event?
While the virus didn’t seem to move too rapidly within the Sturgis community, health experts worry that the attendees could potentially spread to their hometowns. Now three weeks out from the rally, a recent report from the Associated Press linked more than 100 coronavirus cases across 8 states to the event.
An official from the Minnesota Department of Health tells CBS the state tracked multiple COVID-19 cases to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. “As of close of business yesterday, we were reporting 35 cases in people who reported having attended the Sturgis rally in some way,” the official said. “We will likely have a few more today, but I don’t have an official number yet.”
In the state of Wyoming, nine people who attended the rally tested positive. “As part of their routine interview, people who have COVID-19 are asked about any large gatherings they attended,” a Wisconsin spokesperson said. “Two people who have tested COVID-19 positive reported being at Sturgis. However, they reported other possible exposures as well. So we can’t say that Sturgis was or was not the cause of these cases.”