Colorado has reported more than 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to people who attended an annual motorcycle event in Sturgis, South Dakota earlier this month.
The pandemic was expected to reduce attendance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, KCNC-TV reported. But the event drew some 462,000 people between Aug. 7 and Aug. 16, down just 7.5% from the previous year.
Some visitors wore masks and practiced social distancing in spite of the large crowds.
COVID-19 IN COLORADO
The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:
- MAP: Known cases in Colorado.
- TESTING: Here’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
- STORY: Wave of suicides in northwest Colorado part of “toxic stress” from coronavirus, experts say
State officials in Colorado are now asking those who attended the rally and have symptoms to be tested immediately, and have recommended those without symptoms be tested a week after suspected exposure.
“No one that we went with or knew up there has had any symptoms,” said Kevin Bolser, co-owner of Lucky Horsehoe Customs in Englewood. Bolser said members of his group took special precautions to camp in a remote area and self-quarantine after the event.
At least eight other states have reported coronavirus cases linked to the annual rally, tallying at least 100 people with the virus.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has recently stated that she questions whether face masks prevent the spread of the coronavirus, saying there is “very mixed research and the science has not proven what’s effective and what isn’t.”
Noem also welcomed those attending the rally in a tweet before the event started.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Our articles are free to read, but not free to report
Support local journalism around the state.
Become a member of The Colorado Sun today!
The latest from The Sun
- Boulder, seeking to stop coronavirus surge, bans all gatherings among 18 to 22 year olds until Oct. 8
- To limit contact, some Denver students will take most classes online — even at school
- General becomes 1st Black head of U.S. Air Force Academy
- Proposition 114 explained: What’s at stake with the effort to reintroduce gray wolves in Colorado
- Colorado’s splintered mental health system has had tragic failures. The state is taking the first step to fix it.