The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Looks Like a Superspreader Event

Update: There’s been significant criticisms made about this report, which we detail here in this blog post.

In a new paper, four researchers detail the Covid-19 impact of the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. During the event in early August, over 460,000 motorcycle riders gathered for 10-day celebration where there was little social distancing and not much mask wearing. A month later the researchers say that they believe the rally was a superspreader event.

“We estimate that over 250,000 of the reported cases between August 2 and September 2 are due to the Sturgis Rally,” one of the study authors, Andrew Friedson, an associate professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver shared on Twitter. “Roughly 19 percent of the national cases during this timeframe.”

The co-authors estimate that the fallout from the rally could rise to $12 billion in health care costs. You can read the full study here and a write-up, below.

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