September 2, 2020 at 1:25 PM EDT
First covid-19 death linked to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally reported in Minnesota
A Minnesota biker who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has died of covid-19 — the first fatality from the virus traced to the 10-day event that drew more than 400,000 people to South Dakota.
The man, in his 60s with underlying health conditions, was hospitalized in intensive care after returning from the rally, said Kris Ehresmann, infectious-disease director at the Minnesota Department of Health. The case is among at least 260 in 11 states tied directly to the event, according to a survey of health departments by The Washington Post.
Epidemiologists believe that figure is a significant undercount, because of the resistance of some rallygoers to testing and the limited contact tracing in some states. As a result, the true scope of infections stemming from the event, which ran from Aug. 7 to 16, is unlikely to ever be known. Public health officials had long expressed concern over the decision to move forward with the annual event, believed to be the largest held anywhere in the United States since the pandemic shelved most large-scale gatherings.
By Brittany Shammas and Lena H. Sun