Warnings About the Sturgis Bike Rally Have Come Tragically True

Unlike Lollapalooza in Chicago, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was the perfect storm for a vaccine-era superspeader event.

Should’ve Listened to Dr. Fauci

In western South Dakota’s Meade County, more than one in three COVID-19 tests are currently returning positive, and over the last three weeks, seven-day average case counts have increased by 3,400 percent. This exponential growth in cases is likely attributable to the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew an estimated half a million visitors to Meade County and its environs from Aug. 6 through 15, potentially acting as a superspreader event.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents the perfect storm for a superspreader event across this region: a large gathering with no testing, no masks, and no vaccination requirements. Though many (but not all) of the goings-on occurred outdoors and thus offered more protection against SARS-CoV-2 transmission than if they hadn’t been, the South Dakota Department of Transportation reported that 525,768 vehicles entered Sturgis over the 10 days of the rally. The sheer number of people in attendance paired with a lack of additional precautions presented prime conditions for viral transmission.

Despite hosting over 100,000 individuals on each day of the festival, all signs suggest that Lollapalooza didn’t result in a superspreader event. This may be thanks to the fact that Lollapalooza organizers—working in active partnership the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)—required either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to attendance, and 90 percent of attendees were fully vaccinated. Moreover, masks were required in indoor spaces for the last two days of the event (once more, under the advisement of the CDPH).

The Daily Beast

Yahoo has the same article.

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