Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 8/27/20
Every year, the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws hundreds of thousands of revelers to Sturgis, South Dakota. This year was no different, even despite COVID-19 concerns. While bikers ride in the open air, the rally attracts crowds of patrons to bars, stores and other businesses around Sturgis. And although officials put in place safety measures like sanitizing sidewalks, masks were not required at any of the events. Now, three weeks later, more than 100 COVID-19 cases related to the event have been reported across the country as bikers return home with the virus. So far, state health departments have reported 103 cases in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Wyoming and Washington. On Aug.7, the first day of the rally, South Dakota had 9,371 total confirmed coronavirus cases. The state has now recorded 11,505 cases, according to data released yesterday by the state health department. Health officials expect cases related to the rally to rise in the coming weeks.