Officials warn Sturgis bar patron may have transmitted coronavirus to others

South Dakota health officials warned that a bar patron may have transmitted coronavirus to other customers during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The South Dakota Health Department said in a notice published Tuesday that a customer at the One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., on Aug. 11 has tested positive for coronavirus. 

Health officials instructed people at the bar between noon and 5:30 p.m. that day to “monitor for symptoms” for 14 days after the possible transmission date. 

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The infected customer’s visit fell during the 10-day motorcycle rally that attracted more than 460,000 vehicles, The Associated Press reported. The estimated crowd size was almost 8 percent less than last year.

Most people at the rally did not take coronavirus precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, the AP noted. 

Some public health experts said they are concerned that the rally could become a super-spreader event.

“Any type of mass gathering will be difficult for contact tracers, and it’s going to be more difficult if the people you are trying to trace are mobile,” Amesh Adalja, who specializes in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University, told McClatchy News.

The city reportedly plans to conduct mass coronavirus testing to prevent spreading, according to the AP.

South Dakota has documented 10,566 COVID-19 cases, including 1,222 active cases, and 155 deaths, according to state data. The New York Times characterizes the state among those where new cases are increasing and reports a seven-day average of 104 new cases counted per day.  

The state also hosted President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE at a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore, which officials said did not lead to a major outbreak.