Officials connect Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to coronavirus cases in eight states

The North Dakota Department of Health said COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month in South Dakota have been confirmed in eight states.

The health department tweeted Monday that 17 additional people "who are connected" with the crowded rally have tested positive for coronavirus, NBC News reported.

"Those who attended the rally should closely monitor for symptoms & get tested at a free ND testing site," the agency said.

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Reports emerged last week confirming several cases in connection with the 10-day motorcycle gathering — 103 in total so far.

In addition to North and South Dakota, states seeing COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis event include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming and Washington.

Kris Ehresmann, the Minnesota Department of Health's infectious disease division director, said during a call with news outlets that the department expects more cases associated with Sturgis.

"Thousands of people attended that event, and so it's very likely that we will see more transmission," she added.

The rally was held from Aug. 7 to Aug. 16 and attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees and 460,000 vehicles, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, down from 500,000 last year.

Sturgis, around 30 miles Northwest of Rapid City, has a population of just under 7,000 people.

The rally attracted criticism from some on social media after images and videos appeared showing attendees in crowded bars and venues, flouting social distancing measures and not wearing masks.