More than 70 coronavirus cases diagnosed in seven states across the West and Midwest have been linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which attracted more than 460,000 vehicles over a 10-day period earlier this month, and at least one state health official expects this is just the start of cases linked to the event.

Motorcyclists ride through downtown Deadwood, South Dakota during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle ... [+]

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Key Background:

The annual 10-day motorcycle began Aug. 7 and ran until Aug. 16. The fear among many health experts, even prior to the start of the gathering, was that it would become a super-spreader event. Photos and video footage from the rally revealed relatively few attendees were wearing masks or other forms of face coverings. South Dakota's Health Department announced last week that individuals could have been exposed to the virus at a tattoo parlor where an employee tested positive. In addition, three bars in Sturgis (The Knuckle Saloon, Broken Spoke Saloon and One Eyed Jack's Saloon) were visited by at least one infected individual. According to CNN, the Sturgis city council approved the event in June despite a survey finding that 60% of residents were against it.

Crucial Quote:

"Thousands of people attended that event and so it's very likely that we'll see more transmission. Obviously it takes a while for people to develop symptoms and get tested and for us to get those results," said Kris Ehresmann.

Further Reading:

At Least 22 Coronavirus Cases Linked To Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Attended By Hundreds Of Thousands (Forbes)

DOH says 3 out-of-state residents have COVID-19 after rally; other states report more cases (Rapid City Journal)

Minnesota links 7 more COVID-19 cases to Sturgis (Star Tribune)

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