Percent of Virus Cases Linked to Sturgis, Gov. Slams Report

Friday, 11 Sep, 2020

The bikers were filmed and photographed in crowded bars, restaurants and outdoor venues were mostly without face masks.

That outbreak didn't stay in Sturgis.

Researchers from the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies also studied the spread of COVID-19 tied to Black Lives Matter protests throughout the us and concluded the protests did not have as harmful an effect on public health as some feared.

To reach their findings, researchers analyzed anonymous cellphone data to track non-residents from before and after the mid-August rally.

The Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally that took place early last month is a coronavirus "superspreading event" that will likely result in more than $12 billion in public health care costs, according to researchers who documented the annual event.

The good news is that in counties with strict public health measures - like ours - the impact back home was probably mitigated. Although Jericho made it through the events without any symptoms or positive diagnosis, many others were not as lucky. It's probable that number will increase in a huge way in the days and weeks to come.

Dr. Bob Lutz, our county health officer, said he was aware of three cases in Spokane County that originated in Sturgis.

"We're taking the virus seriously, but we're also recognizing that there is consequences to what we've seen happen in other states that shutting down businesses, stopping people's way of life, has some devastating impacts on them and their ability to put food on the table for their families", Noem said. For the state as a whole, infections rose by about 35% from before the rally to after it. There is now a lockstep relationship between examples of people dropping their guard and the resulting rise in case numbers.

Sturgis is unique, however, in that it was a multiday event with hundreds of thousands involved, which could make it the largest superspreading event in the country so far. A total of 1,094 patients have ever been hospitalized with coronavirus in the state, with just 68 inpatient as of Tuesday, according to the state health department.

I know the national media does not like what South Dakota has done.

Around 460,000 people traveled to the town of roughly 7,000.

South Dakota hosted a 10-day Motorcycle rally hosting approximately 400,000 people.

Photographs show attendees largely ignored social distancing guidelines and seldom wore masks. Rather than using contact tracing, the CHEPS study looked at the areas that sent the most people to the rally and how case trends changed after the event.

She said modeling at one point predicted her state alone would peak at 10,000 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. They found it in the immediately surrounding counties. But at the event, which brought visitors from all over the country, efforts to prevent viral spread were left to the "personal responsibility of the attendees".

It's just one more object lesson in the reasons to be careful as the pandemic drags on.

Based on the increase in case count, the German research group estimates that cases connected to the rally resulted in more than $12 billion in public health costs, not including the cost of any deaths that may have stemmed from a case there. Citing the staggering public health cost generated by their calculations, they claim each rally attendant could have been paid $26,553.64 not to attend in order to avoid the virus spreading.