First COVID-19 death linked to massive Sturgis biker rally; cases reported across the nation

Bikers Rally

The first COVID-19 death associated with a massive biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota has been reported weeks after the event attracted more than 400,000 vehicles and drew widespread concern from public health officials.

The death was reported by Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann at a Wednesday briefing. Minnesota — South Dakota’s neighbor to the east — is tracking an ongoing outbreak of 50 cases tied to the August event, Ehresmann said.

A Minnesota man who died was in his 60s and had underlying health conditions. The 50-case outbreak only includes people who attended the event, Ehresmann said, noting that those infected individuals may have spread the virus to others.

Infections linked to the event have been reported among people in states from coast to coast. The rally went forward despite fears it could become a super-spread event. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem welcomed bikers and the tourist dollars they spend.

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Source: USA Today