South Dakota Covid cases quintuple after Sturgis motorcycle rally

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  46 comments

By:   Ben Kesslen and Joe Murphy

South Dakota Covid cases quintuple after Sturgis motorcycle rally
Two weeks after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, reported Covid infections have quintupled in South Dakota.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold.

South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it. That makes it the state with the largest percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks.

The state's rate of Covid-19 infections per capita in the past two weeks is in the bottom half of the country, but it's the sharp and sudden increase in case counts that sets it apart.

Meade County, home to Sturgis, has counted 330 new cases in the last two weeks, up from the 20 reported in the two weeks before the rally, according to Johns Hopkins University's case count. The 1,550 percent increase comes after the motorcycle rally, which usually draws around half a million people, possibly had its biggest year ever, according to County Sheriff Ron Merwin.

Dr. Shankar Kurra, the vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health, which operates hospitals serving western South Dakota, including one in Sturgis, said the events at this year's rally feel like "a replay of last year."

In June, Monument Health had three Covid patients, a pandemic low for hospitalizations, and Kurra said he thought that number might drop to zero. Now, the number is up to 58, about half of what it was at its peak in the winter. The people in the hospital are younger and "almost 99.9% are unvaccinated," he said.

"It's not the highest it has ever been but is definitely at a number that puts us at a disadvantage," Kurra said. "You have a strain on resources and a lot of stress on the health system to give timely care to non-Covid patients."

1628511825405_ott_now_am_sturgis_210809_1920x1080.jpg

Thousands flock to Sturgis motorcycle rally despite concerns over delta variant


It's too soon to know if the Sturgis rally, which began on Aug. 6 and ended Aug. 15, had a direct effect on the increase or can be classified as a "superspreader" event, but Meade County is now reporting a 36 percent positivity rate, with about 1 in every 3 Covid tests returning a positive result. The 82 cases the county reported Tuesday was its highest daily number yet, eclipsing the 68 cases it reported on Aug. 27, 2020. (Meade County has reported 3,168 cases and 31 deaths since the start of the pandemic, one of the lowest Covid case counts, when adjusted for population, among the state's 66 counties).

From the onset of the pandemic, South Dakota has seen a higher per capita rate of infections than all but two states, North Dakota and Tennessee, per an NBC News tally.

Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, has been firm in keeping South Dakota open throughout the pandemic, shunning mask mandates, criticizing public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and insisting on holding mass gatherings against CDC recommendations. On Monday, after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and up, the governor tweeted that if President Joe Biden "illegally mandates vaccines, I will take every action available under the law to protect South Dakotans from the federal government." Currently, 48.4 percent of South Dakota is fully vaccinated, according to an NBC News tally.

In an email Tuesday, a South Dakota Department of Health spokesperson, Daniel Bucheli, said the spikes in Covid cases in the state "are following a national trend being experienced in every state."

"Regarding cases surrounding the Sturgis Rally, our Department has only been able to link 16 cases directly to this event," Bucheli said. "It is important to mention that Meade county currently has a lower vaccination rate than other counties in SD."

A post-mortem of the 2020 Sturgis rally showed it led to "widespread transmission" and Covid-19 cases in at least 25 other states.

"Although the number of cases identified is sizable — 140 cases per 100,000 attendees — it is likely that the true national impact of the Sturgis event is underestimated," said the study, written in part by the CDC, citing asymptotic cases, visitors not reporting rally attendance and difficulties with contact tracing.

While much of the rally is outdoors, another study was conducted on how the rally affected caseloads in neighboring Minnesota showed that the primary infections that could be traced appeared to occur indoors, in a restaurant setting.

This year, the city of Sturgis took steps to prevent indoor transmission, like allowing outdoor wine and beer consumption if attendees bought a special cup. A spokesperson for the city did not respond to a request for comment.

Now, however, the number of cases is not where Kurra and his colleagues want it to be.

"It didn't help that you had a mass gathering event like the rally," he said.


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

Maybe what is really happening here is that the effects of the pandemic have not just been physical, but also mental, and that its very existence has caused so many human beings to completely lose their common sense and logical insight, i.e. to become brainless idiots.  Maybe the next adaptation of the virus will turn people into zombies. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    3 weeks ago
its very existence has caused so many human beings to completely lose their common sense and logical insight, i.e. to become brainless idiots

Trump's brown nosing sycophants were brainless idiots long before Covid hit.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2  sandy-2021492    3 weeks ago

Never saw that coming /s

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    3 weeks ago

a new definition for the term 1%er...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

I'm shocked!  Shocked I tell you!

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4  Hal A. Lujah    3 weeks ago

The people in the hospital are younger and "almost 99.9% are unvaccinated,"

384 … that vaccines aren’t effective.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5  Trout Giggles    3 weeks ago
"Regarding cases surrounding the Sturgis Rally, our Department has only been able to link 16 cases directly to this event," Bucheli said. "It is important to mention that Meade county currently has a lower vaccination rate than other counties in SD."

Yeah...but you've only just begun to count numbers

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
6  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

EAA AirVenture 2021 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, had approximately 608,000 attendees around the same time as  Sturgis.

Awaiting the news from that gathering

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
6.1  Dulay  replied to  Greg Jones @6    3 weeks ago
EAA AirVenture 2021 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Right because a bunch of bikers in bars is just like people social distancing on over 1,500 acres. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
6.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Dulay @6.1    3 weeks ago

Lots of NFL preseason games played last couple weeks...no social distancing, few masks seen.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
6.1.2  evilgenius  replied to  Greg Jones @6.1.1    3 weeks ago

Each team has their own rules. At this time LV Raiders, NO Saints, LSU, Tulane, Oregon U and Oregon State are now requiring proof of at least one dose of vaccine or a negative test within 72 hours of the game. As numbers increase we'll see more of this kind of requirement in more than just sport & entertainment venues. Some will wait until cities and states re-institute their "mandates" which relives them of responsibility.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
6.1.3  SteevieGee  replied to  Greg Jones @6.1.1    3 weeks ago
Lots of NFL preseason games played last couple weeks...no social distancing, few masks seen.

Yes Greg.  These aren't the only people who are being stupid.  It doesn't make them smart.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
6.1.4  Dulay  replied to  Greg Jones @6.1.1    3 weeks ago

Deflection. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
6.2  Krishna  replied to  Greg Jones @6    3 weeks ago
EAA AirVenture 2021 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, had approximately 608,000 attendees around the same time as  Sturgis. Awaiting the news from that gathering

Here's something I'm wondering about. From the beginning, Trump & his most ardent supporters, as well as many people on Fox News have done their best to downplay the seriousness ofCovid (some even saying Covid was a hoax, that it was really the common flu (or no worse than the flu) 

Then many of these same folks talked about how ineffective masks were. 

(In fact, we've seen a lot of this this even here on NT).

And pro-Trump politicians going on and on re: wanting to re-open things earlier.

For the most part the Dems have taking opposing positions.

As a result of all these many more Republicans-- and especially Trump supporters-- are less likely to take precautions. So over time, all this talk by Republicans  and Democrats will influence many of their followers (but in opposite ways).

Which means over time, a much higher %age of Trump supporters will catch Covid-- and of those who do, will have more severe cases.

So initially it would  would seem that many Republicans are trying to kill off their own voters!

I can't imagine that's actually true-- so why are they doing this?

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
7  Split Personality    3 weeks ago

Kristy Noem says it isn't so... but she is beginning to waiver on mandates.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Split Personality @7    3 weeks ago

She's afraid she's losing her supporters

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
7.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1    3 weeks ago
She's afraid she's losing her supporters

She is losing her supporters, in the hospital ICU's.  They die, she's lost them.  They eventually recover, they'll blame her for not protecting them, and she's lost them.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ozzwald @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

Exactly!

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
7.1.3  Krishna  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1    3 weeks ago
She's afraid she's losing her supporters

Through death from getting Covid-- or by some starting to actually realize that Covid is real-- and masks, vaccines, etc help lower the spread?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
7.1.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ozzwald @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

They plan on solving that by redistricting..... AKA...gerrymandering.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
7.2  Tessylo  replied to  Split Personality @7    3 weeks ago

They obviously don't care about people, only money.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.3  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @7    3 weeks ago

A judge ruled against DeSantis and his no mask mandates....This was a lawsuit brought by schools kids parents. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
7.3.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @7.3    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Guide
7.3.2  bugsy  replied to  Kavika @7.3    3 weeks ago

It was a civic judge that will be overturned by a more intelligent court.

Maybe DeSantis will just be a liberal and ignore the judge's order.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
7.3.3  Split Personality  replied to  bugsy @7.3.2    3 weeks ago
It was a civic judge that will be overturned by a more intelligent court.

It was taxpaying parents suing the Governor for threatening the income of school districts and school boards.

Multiple issues.

One of which is DeSantis stating in June that the emergency was over.

Florida was in a state of emergency due to the pandemic from March 2020 to June 2021, according to Cooper. DeSantis claimed there was no longer a state of emergency in Florida at the end of June, so the governor's emergency powers expired at that point, the court said. "The governor was told (at the meeting) by one of the doctors there that the use of masks is child abuse and bringing harm to every child in the country," Cooper said. "I have seen no scientific evidence that supports that."

The parents brought the suit under the Constitutions requirement that that requires providing a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system” of public schools.

Cooper brought up the legal issues of separation of power that arose in the case. "Separation of powers refers to the division of powers into distinct branches of government, each with their own responsibilities," according to Investopedia. "The intent of separation of powers is to prevent the concentration of unchecked power and to provide for checks and balances , in which the powers of one branch of government is limited by the powers of another branch — to prevent abuses of power and avoid autocracy ."
 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
7.3.4  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @7.3    3 weeks ago
A judge ruled against DeSantis and his no mask mandates....This was a lawsuit brought by schools kids parents.

I pretty sure he wants to run for President (if trump doesn't). If I'm not mistaken, currently Florida has one of the highest rates of infections in the entire country-- and his policies are making it worse. (?).  

I can't help but wonder if eventually he'll start to realize that many Florida voters will begin to realize how his policy made that worse....?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
7.3.5  Krishna  replied to  bugsy @7.3.2    3 weeks ago
Maybe DeSantis will just be a liberal and ign nore the judge's order.

Very perceptive bugsy-- very perceptive indeed! Maybe he's actually a "Socialist" pretending to be a Republican! jrSmiley_68_smiley_image.png

(Or worse yet-- becoming an secret Bernie supporter-- anything's possible !!! )

And have you considered this bugsy-- maybe he will ignore all the mandates of our legal system entirely ...and become an actual Communist!

Yes!

Ladies and Gentlemen please rise-- Komerad-Governor de Santis is about to enter the room!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.3.6  Kavika   replied to  bugsy @7.3.2    3 weeks ago

I’m-sure DeSantis will only deal with the most reputable scientists in his battle against those that simply don’t understand his brilliance.

in fact here he is dealing with a horses ass.

 
 
 
bugsy
Professor Guide
7.3.7  bugsy  replied to  Krishna @7.3.5    3 weeks ago

No, that would make him an American leftist, as evidenced by current events with the dumb shittery in the Oval Office today.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.3.8  Kavika   replied to  bugsy @7.3.7    3 weeks ago

Speaking of dumb shittery seems that DeSantis has that covered quite well by doing his best to increase the number of Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

 
 
 
squiggy
Freshman Quiet
8  squiggy    3 weeks ago

”This year, the city of Sturgis took steps to prevent indoor transmission, like allowing outdoor wine and beer consumption if attendees bought a special cup“

I don’t think they were supposed to all use the same one.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
9  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

Fun with statistics:

nationwide covid cases have risen 5 fold since two weeks before sturgis. The fact that they’ve risen six fold in any particular jurisdiction is not remarkable whatsoever.  Look up bell shaped distribution and you’ll see such variance is inevitable

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
9.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Sean Treacy @9    3 weeks ago

It's decreased a bit in California in the last 2 weeks.  Fun with statistics.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
9.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  SteevieGee @9.1    3 weeks ago

s decreased a bit in California in the last 2 weeks

Wow.

So much to unpack. First, on the most simple level, do you understand how to read data? The 7 day average in California is 12,932 as of 8/26.  On August 12, that number was 11,882.  

In what world is that a decrease?

Second, you really seem to have to missed the point I made by a mile. Over  the same time frame used by this article to "prove" Sturgis was a super spreader event, the numbers in California increased from 3,500 to 12,000. Do you not understand how dumb it is to single out Sturgis for having a covid increase that is well within  the norms for the ENTIRE COUNTRY, including California, for the same time frame? 

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
9.1.2  Dulay  replied to  Sean Treacy @9.1.1    3 weeks ago

The positivity rate for the last 7 days in CA is 5.4% and trending DOWN.

The positivity rate for the last 7 days in SD is 17.1% and trending UP. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
9.1.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  Dulay @9.1.2    3 weeks ago

 Wow. You made a completely different argument using different metrics over a different time frame!  What the hell do you think you are proving? 

Pay attention. Did you read the article? The original claim uses gross numbers of cases from two weeks before Sturgis to two weeks after. That's what I did. 

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
9.1.4  Dulay  replied to  Sean Treacy @9.1.3    3 weeks ago
The original claim uses gross numbers of cases from two weeks before Sturgis to two weeks after. That's what I did. 

Really? Then who posted this:

The 7 day average in California is 12,932 as of 8/26.  On August 12, that number was 11,882.  
 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
10  JBB    3 weeks ago

"SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE" Gohmer Pyle USMC

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
11  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

Wow, who didn't see that coming.  These gutless, selfish aholes will now take it home and infect god knows how many others.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
11.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @11    3 weeks ago

Got a neighbor, retired CBP, GS-14, took his wife and daughter to his home, in Titusville, FL to visit for three weeks.

Came home, started feeling "funky" - went to the hospital for check-up and tested positive for the Delta variant.  So, since the family has a RV, he/they isolated him to the RV for the quarantine time.  He 'sez' that no one in his family has tested positive since he got home.

He tested yesterday and the results were negative.

Audra (my wonderful wife), saw him this morning on her way to work and stopped to say hey and congratulated him for getting through his illness.  She then, unfortunately, asked him if the rest of the family had been vaccinated.  The reason for her question is that his youngest son is in two of her classes and her school is starting to get an uptick in positives - of the Delta variant.

The unfortunate part?  He went on a solid five minute rant/rave about the stupidity of people getting the vaccine - they don't work, they're not available, blah, blah, blah, and none of his family is going to get the vaccine.

She called me, almost in hysterics, because, as a teacher, she "teaches" 258 students in 7 classes daily (Spanish I, II, III, Med.), and her school, as mentioned, has had an uptick in positives and the school district has refused to even consider going to remote teaching/classes again.

As stated in other threads, you don't have to test positive of the variant to be a carrier and, as a carrier, you can pass on the variant to others in your vicinity - and that's what is scaring her.  Me too.

We have two elderly women in our house (her grandma and her ma - 87 and 68) - plus the ancient, aging, superstar me (70+).  The two ladies are very prone to getting colds, respiratory infections, etc.  Neither of them are on our insurance policy (they're not "Permanent Residents", just "Visitors") and our out-of-pocket expenses for them would be devastating.  If Audra were to test positive (been totally vaccinated - J&J) - well, you know the path of that thread.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
11.1.1  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @11.1    3 weeks ago

The US is full of fricking morons and Audra just met another one.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
12  Kavika     3 weeks ago

South Dakota has covid deaths per 1m of 2329, right up there and this will probably make that number jump. 

California covid deaths per 1m is 1658. 

CA covid cases per million is 108,649

SD covid cases per million is 147,826

Seems that Noem and SD is headed in the wrong direction, perhaps they can have a million idiot rodeo.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
13  pat wilson    3 weeks ago

Yep and compare the size of the populations :

Cali nearly 40 million

SD nearly 900,000

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
14  Ender    3 weeks ago

What I was thinking about, with all those bikes together. I wonder if anyone has ever checked the air quality around there.

A lot of fumes.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
14.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Ender @14    3 weeks ago

It's gotta be better than here.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
15  Krishna    3 weeks ago

Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, has been firm in keeping South Dakota open throughout the pandemic, shunning mask mandates, criticizing public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and insisting on holding mass gatherings against CDC recommendations.

On Monday, after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and up, the governor tweeted that if President Joe Biden "illegally mandates vaccines, I will take every action available under the law to protect South Dakotans from the federal government."

Well, based on the increasing numbers of new infections, it looks like her efforts are starting to pay off!

 
 
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