Outbreak of more than 100 coronavirus cases linked to massive motorcycle rally
A huge spike in killer Covid-19 infections has been linked to a motorcycle rally which went ahead despite social distancing concerns.
Hundreds of thousands of bikers gathered together in a small town earlier this month despite fears it would become a super spreading gathering and lead to a spiralling number of coronavirus cases.
Three weeks after the rally those fears have been realised and more than 100 coronavirus cases have been reported.
And the infections have spread to eight different states, following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, US.
Health officials have reported 103 cases in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington.
The rally attracted huge crowds to bars, stores and businesses around Sturgis despite concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
Safety measures were in place but masks were not mandatory.
Health chiefs are now using the US equivalent of track and trace to contact visitors who may have contracted the virus during the gathering.
A spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Health told CBS 40 cases had been reported in the state alone.
He said: "This includes three out of state cases that we were notified of because those cases had close contact with a South Dakota resident.”
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And Minnesota health department spokesman said: “As of close of business yesterday, we were reporting 35 cases in people who reported having attended the Sturgis rally in some way.
“We will likely have a few more today, but I don't have an official number yet."
Meanwhile in Wyoming, nine people have tested positive having attended events in Sturgis.
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The 10-day rally of motorcycle enthusiasts usually attracts an estimated 400,000 people
The event drew criticism when it was first announced due to the large number of bikers packed together.
In a survey before the event, the majority of residents opposed holding the rally, but officials opted to move forward because they felt there was no way to stop the crowds that were planning on coming, CNN reports.
City manager Daniel Ainslie previously told the outlet: "As a city, there's nothing we could do, we're not able to put up roadblocks and say, 'You can't come in.
"And it was quite obvious that we were going to have a lot of people here, even if we didn't call it the rally.
“The issue is if we did not officially sanction it as a rally, then we would not be able to prepare for it."
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