Health experts concerned biker rally could be virus super-spreader
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According to the CDC as of this week five states account for more than 40% of US coronavirus infections: California, Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia.
South Dakota has one of the lowest Covid 19 infection rates in the country.
But some experts think that’s about to change.
For about 80 years the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota has been wildly popular.
About 500,000 people showed up last year.
Despite fears that the 10-day event will be a super-spreader for coronavirus this year, roughly 250,000 people packed the small town anyway.
Some rally attendees wore T-shirts that said “Screw Covid. I went to Sturgis.”
This could be one of the largest mass gatherings in the entire country during the pandemic.
Sturgis’s mayor says town officials are asking people to distance, to maintain hygiene and to act responsibly.
But they’re not requiring rally goers to wear a mask.
A recent survey of Sturgis residents showed a 60% of them did not want the event held this year.
An infectious disease expert at Emory University in Atlanta says the probability of an outbreak stemming from the Sturgis rally is very high.
Concerts will be held just about every night which will increase opportunities for transmission.
A large state fair is scheduled to take place after the rally.
Then it’ll be Labor Day weekend and back to school time.
One city councilmember says it is “a sequence of insanity.”
Town officials say it was a tough decision but they went ahead and approved it anyway, possibly because, according to many estimates, the rally brings in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.
Posted – 8.9.20