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COVID-19 cases in South Dakota increase more than 450% since start of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

South Dakota has seen a pointy increase in each day COVID-19 cases following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Meade County this month. Hundreds of hundreds of bikers descended upon the world August 6-15, regardless of the Delta variant wreaking havoc on the U.S. 

On August 4, the date closest to the start of the rally for which knowledge was accessible, the state reported 657 lively cases. On August 25, the state reported 3,655 lively cases. That’s a 456% increase of lively cases from earlier than the start of the rally to 2 weeks after, in keeping with the state’s division of well being.

As of August 24, about two weeks from the start of the occasion, South Dakota noticed a weekly positivity rate of 38.8%. The week main as much as the rally — July 30 to August 6 — the state’s weekly positivity rate was a lot decrease, at 10.38%, the division of well being data shows. The week earlier than that, July 23-30, the positivity rate was simply 6.10%.

The rate of each day cases elevated 486% from August 6, when 80 new cases had been reported, to August 23, when 469 cases had been reported. 

Meade County, the place Sturgis is positioned, noticed a 34.2% weekly positivity rate final week, in keeping with the state division of well being. 

About 61% of the state’s inhabitants over age 12 have been administered at the very least one dose of vaccine, and 55% are absolutely vaccinated, the division’s data shows. In Meade County, 7,984 individuals have been vaccinated. With a inhabitants of 28,332, that is about 28% of the county vaccinated.

Vaccines are confirmed secure and efficient. Despite this, the Delta variant continues to be quickly spreading, and hospitals report the bulk of their COVID-19 cases are in unvaccinated sufferers. 

Still, the nationwide vaccination effort is as soon as once more displaying indicators of slowing. Just over half of the American inhabitants is fully vaccinated, far brief of the elusive “herd immunity” some hoped the nation would attain by the tip of the summer time.

At the Sturgis rally, vaccines weren’t required, Mola Lenghi reported for “CBS This Morning: Saturday.” “We’re not going to start checking papers. I mean, that’s not really an American way,” mentioned Daniel Ainslie, metropolis supervisor of Sturgis, which has a inhabitants of 7,000.

Last year, the bike rally acquired scrutiny for welcoming half 1,000,000 bikers from throughout the nation to what was thought-about a “superspreader” occasion. About three weeks after the 2020 rally kicked off, more than 100 cases of COVID-19 related to the rally had been reported in at the very least eight states, The Associated Press reported, and the number of related cases kept growing in the weeks that adopted.

At the time, COVID-19 vaccines weren’t but accessible. Some security measures, like sanitizing sidewalks, had been put in place, however masks weren’t required, City of Sturgis Public Information Officer Christina Steele advised CBS News by way of e mail forward of the occasion. 

CBS News has reached out to representatives of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the South Dakota Department of Health and is awaiting response.