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Biker in his 60s becomes first person to die from COVID-19 after attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with 460,000 others - after more than 260 people linked to the event across 11 states were infected

A biker in his 60s has become the first person to die from COVID-19 after attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which saw more than 460,000 people descend on South Dakota for the 10-day annual event. 
The Minnesota man, who has not been named, had underlying health conditions and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit after returning from the rally and testing positive for coronavirus. 
More than 260 people across 11 states have been infected by the killer virus in connection to the event, reported The Washington Post.
Cases in the Midwest and the Dakotas have surged in the two weeks after the rally and health experts are warning the true cost of holding the event could be far worse than official figures show. 
A biker in his 60s has become the first person to die from COVID-19 after attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (pictured)
A biker in his 60s has become the first person to die from COVID-19 after attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (pictured)
More than 460,000 people descended on South Dakota for the 10-day annual event
More than 460,000 people descended on South Dakota for the 10-day annual event
Photos from the rally showed masses descend on the small town where people packed close together in bars, restaurants and tattoo parlors with very few wearing masks and social distancing
Photos from the rally showed masses descend on the small town where people packed close together in bars, restaurants and tattoo parlors with very few wearing masks and social distancing 
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Wednesday the death of the man in his 60s and said he was one of at least 49 people in the state who have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the rally. 
Kris Ehresmann, infectious-disease director at the Minnesota Department of Health, said rallygoers returned 'to locations that weren't seeing as much transmission to begin with' and spread the virus. 
'You have the potential to amplify transmission in multiple places. That's what's concerning from a broader public health standpoint,' said Ehresman.

Multiple states have reported infections among Sturgis participants, with Post analysis recording the outbreak from the event now spans at least 11 states.    
Meanwhile, cellphone data from Camber Systems places the reach even further, recording that 61 percent of all US counties have been visited by a rallygoer.  
The host state of South Dakota has been hardest-hit by the fallout from the event, with local officials reporting 105 infections directly linked to the rally.  
State health officials put out alerts about three potential COVID-19 exposures while the event was going on, after infected people visited businesses in the local area. 
The map used anonymous cellphone data to track the movement of rallygoers into Sturgis in the days leading up to the event
The map used anonymous cellphone data to track the movement of rallygoers into Sturgis in the days leading up to the event
Health experts believe the impact from the event could be far greater than official figures will ever reveal due to limitations in contact tracing in some states and because some rallygoers are averse to testing.  
The Sturgis rally brings hundreds of thousands of people and their motorcycles from all over the US to western South Dakota each year.
Locals, officials and health experts voiced concerns about the 2020 event - which took place from August 7 to August 16 - due to the pandemic. 
South Dakota, which had no limits on the size of indoor crowds and no mask mandate, was already experiencing a growth in COVID-19 infections in the month leading up to the rally. 
But organizers plowed ahead and it was very much business as usual, with attendees not required to wear masks and no limit on the size of crowds.
The rally is thought to have been the biggest event held across the whole of the US since many states banned large events back in March when the pandemic started ripping through America. 
Cellphone data tracked the movements of rallygoers in and out of Sturgis in the days leading up to the event. 
The map created by data visualization company Tectonix, with the help of location-data firms X-Mode Social and SafeGraph, showed the extent of the widespread travel from across the country. 
The majority of those who traveled to Sturgis came from the Midwest and South, it showed - states such as Texas and Arizona that were then in the grips of escalating outbreaks.  
South Dakota daily positive cases. Infections in the Midwest and the Dakotas have surged in the two weeks following the event
South Dakota daily positive cases. Infections in the Midwest and the Dakotas have surged in the two weeks following the event
Photos from the rally showed masses descend on the small town where people packed close together in bars, restaurants and tattoo parlors with very few wearing masks and social distancing.
Just days after the event concluded and people returned to their homes all across the US, the first cases directly linked to the rally began springing up in South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.  
Infections in the Midwest and the Dakotas have surged in the two weeks following the event. 
On August 7 - the first day of the event - South Dakota recorded 96 new cases of the virus.  
Fast forward to August 28 and the daily cases reached a record high of 398. 
In North Dakota, cases have more than doubled since the start of the rally, rising from 180 confirmed new cases on August 7 to a peak of 373 on August 28. 
More than 6 million Americans have now been infected with coronavirus and the nation's death toll has topped 183,000.     

3 comments:

  1. He died from COVID after someone ran a red light and totaled his motorcycle while his body flew 100 feet in the air.

    ReplyDelete
  2. that's a .00057% infection rate. What does that tell ya?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why didn't they give the guy hydroxychloroquine?

    ReplyDelete