Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a 'COVID super spreader'

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a 'COVID super spreader'

According to the study, the rally was a melting pot of "worst-case scenarios" that included a prolonged gathering of a large out-of-town population and low compliance with recommended infection countermeasures (masks, social distancing, etc.) The same study suggests that the estimated number of event-related cases could have resulted in health spendings of approximately $12.2 billion.

On Wednesday morning, the South Dakota Department of Health told The Federalist it has only credited 124 of the state's positive cases to in the weeks since to the Sturgis bike rally.

The researchers describe the methodology as follows: "First, using anonymized cell phone data from SafeGraph, Inc., we document that smartphone pings from non-residents and foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments, entertainment venues, hotels, and campgrounds each rose substantially in the census block groups hosting Sturgis rally events. Second, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a synthetic control approach, we show that by September 2, a month following the onset of the Rally, COVID-19 cases increased by approximately six to seven cases per 1,000 population in its home county of Meade".

Their research found in counties nationwide who had a lot of Sturgis attendees, the COVID-19 case count in their home counties increased about 10.7 percent from about a month before to a few weeks after the rally.

Between 7 and 16 August, around 450,000 people from across the states flocked to Sturgis for the annual 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which featured several concerts and was held despite cases soaring across the country.

What's more, the rally contributed to about $12.2 billion in health care costs, "enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend", the report read.

In the USA, 1.4 million new coronavirus cases were reported between August 2 and September 2.

The new research report from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics and affiliated with the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies at San Diego State University said the 10-day rally that started August 7 drew more than 460,000 people to a South Dakota city with a population of only 7,000.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem never issued a shelter-in-place order for her state. It should also be noted that the great majority of protestors wore masks during the protests, whereas Sturgis attendees did not.

People weren't staying home because of city-imposed curfews, but because they were concerned about violence, IZA reports, going on to say that there was no spike in cases as a result of the protests. "This report isn't science; it's fiction". "Predictably, some in the media breathlessly report on this non-peer reviewed model, built on incredibly faulty assumptions that do not reflect the actual facts and data".

Chris Jericho has yet to comment on these findings.

Some 260 cases in 11 states had been tied to the rally by the middle of last week, the Washington Post reported.

"The results do not align with what we know for the impacts of the rally", state epidemiologist Josh Clayton also said on Tuesday.

Most of the 22 states where cases are now rising are in the less-populated parts of the Midwest and South. However, that figure comes from a paper (also published by the Institute of Labor Economics) that claimed that as of July 27, there were actually 47 million coronavirus cases in the US.

About 460,000 people attended the event between August 7 and August 16 in the city of Sturgis, which has a population of about 7,000 in a county that is home to about 26,000 people, according to U.S. Census data.

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