Officials connect 26 coronavirus cases to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

At least 26 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held last week, CNN reported.

The cases, spread over three states, are linked to those who attended the annual 10-day gathering, which began Aug. 7 and ran until Sunday. It drew more than 365,000 vehicles, according to South Dakota’s Department of Transportation.

According to CNN, there are 15 linked COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and at least seven cases in Nebraska. Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease director announced on Friday that one of the cases in her state has resulted in a hospitalization. 

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Those who attended Sturgis are being advised by state health officials to quarantine for 14 days and to get tested and self-isolate if they experience coronavirus symptoms. 

The new cases follow multiple announcements this week suggesting cases of coronavirus linked to the motorcycle rally are growing. 

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.

And on Thursday, state officials warned that a person who worked at a tattoo shop in Sturgis had tested positive for the virus and could have exposed people to the virus last week. 

Sturgis only has 7,000 year-round residents, and many had criticized plans for the rally before it was held. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe chose to turn away tourists to prevent the spread of the coronavirus throughout the reservation.