Story at a glance

  • On Tuesday, the South Dakota Health Department warned that a bar patron who tested positive for COVID-19 may have transmitted the virus to other customers at the One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon on Aug. 11.
  • Health officials said the number of people who have been exposed is not known.
  • The state’s health department said it has received reports from other states that people who traveled to attend the 10-day motorcycle rally have tested positive.

South Dakota health officials say a number of people who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press (AP)

Officials said Thursday during a news conference that the number of rallygoers who tested positive was fewer than 25, although they were unable to provide an exact figure. 


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The news comes as public health experts worried the rally that brought in more than 460,000 vehicles from all across the country nearly two weeks ago could become a superspreader event. Most attendees failed to take significant precautions against COVID-19 infections, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds, according to AP

The state’s health department said it has received reports from other states that people who traveled to attend the 10-day motorcycle rally have tested positive. Sturgis, S.D., plans to carry out widespread testing of residents next week in an effort to get ahead of a potential outbreak of infections sparked by the rally.

On Tuesday, the South Dakota Health Department warned that a bar patron who tested positive for COVID-19 may have transmitted the virus to other customers at the One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon on Aug. 11. Health officials said the number of people who have been exposed is not known. 

Health officials instructed people who were inside the bar between noon and 5:30 p.m. that day to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the possible transmission date. 

South Dakota has recorded 10,691 cases and 157 deaths. The New York Times characterizes the state among those where new cases are increasing and reports a seven-day average of 113 new cases counted per day.

Published on Aug 20, 2020