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You are here News Health Researchers: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a 'superspreader event' linked to 267K COVID-19 cases

Researchers: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a 'superspreader event' linked to 267K COVID-19 cases

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Sturgis rally liked to voer 200,000 new casesThe Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota could be considered a super-spreader event for COVID-19 and should be linked to about 267,000 cases nationwide at a cost of $12.2 billion, researchers say in a recently released paper.

The researchers from San Diego State University's Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies published a preliminary version of the paper late last week with the IZA Institute for Labor Economics. The paper is based on anonymized cellphone location tracking data and is the first known research to estimate the COVID-19 case spread and public health cost of the rally in Sturgis, S.D.

The 10-day motorcycle rally, which ended Aug. 16, is associated with both local and national surges in COVID-19 cases, particularly in those counties with the highest participation percentage the researchers found.

"We ... conclude that local and nationwide contagion from this event was substantial," the researchers said.

State transportation officials estimated about 460,000 vehicles attended the event, where many rallygoers notably went unmasked and didn't socially distance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as they crowded together in bars, campgrounds and concert venues.


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