Study claims the event will cost an estimated $12.2 billion in health-care costs
During the month between August 2nd and September 2nd the US recorded 1.4 million new cases of COVID-19. According to a new study, 19 percent of those cases were caused by the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
That is not a typo: 19 percent. And God only knows how many more to add to that as infections spread not from attendees, but from the next generation of people infected by the attendees. It’s probably impossible to ever know.
The study’s methodology was relatively straightforward: the authors used anonymized cell phone data to determine where attendees came from and where they returned to. Then they measured increases in COVID-19 in those places. After plotting every county in the US, they found a strong dose-response relationship between increases in COVID-19 and the number of attendees from each county. After a bit of arithmetic, they estimated that Sturgis was responsible for a total of 266,000 new cases in the one-month study period.