Sturgis Motorcycle Rally May Have Contributed to 260,000 New Cases of Coronavirus: Study

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which brought 500,000 people to South Dakota from all across the country for 10 days, is now known as a super-spreader event, indicating that it's responsible for an influx in positive coronavirus cases.

Now, a new study estimates that about 260,000 new cases may have come from the event and its attendees. This accounts for roughly 19% of the total number of US cases in the month of August.

"The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the 'worst case scenarios' for superspreading occurred simultaneously," the report reads.

These "worst case scenarios" include the fact that it was a prolonged even with a lack of social distancing measures taken. Additionally, it included a large out-of-town population and a low use of masks.

"Multiplying the percent case increases for the high, moderate-high, and moderate inflow counties by each county's respective pre-rally cumulative COVID-19 cases and aggregating, yields a total of 263,708 additional cases in these locations due to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally," the study reports.

Similar events such as Black Lives Matter protests and President Trump's Tulsa rally did not see similar results in coronavirus cases, according to separate studies.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which spanned over 10 days, saw many people gathering in confined spaces like restaurants and bars. Many attendees did not self-isolate once the event was over.

One person who was in attendance at the event has passed away from the virus.

Additionally, the study finds that the total cost of these coronavirus cases comes in around $12.2 billion, figuring from previous studies that the cost of one COVID-19 case comes in around $46,000.

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