South Dakota Epidemiologist Dr Clayton part of new study on Motorcycle Rally’s COVID-19 cases

Gary MatthewsApril 30, 2021Local
courtesy/file photoA paper released this week that was put together by several health officials, including South Dakota’s very own state epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton, indicates less than 1,000 cases can be attributed to the 2020 rally.

STURGIS, S.D. – It’s been well documented the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally resulted in the spread of COVID-19 – but as to how many cases it was responsible for has been widely debated.

A paper released this week that was put together by several health officials, including South Dakota’s very own state epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton, indicates less than 1,000 cases can be attributed to the rally.

According to the study, almost 650 cases of COVID-19 were traced back to the rally. This includes primary, secondary and even tertiary contacts that could be traced back to the annual event.

The study, published by a number of medical professionals, goes on to say that 463 people from about 30 different jurisdictions tested positive after attending the rally, where masks where not required.

Approximately 462,000 people attended the 2020 rally, at about the time COVID-19 numbers began to rise significantly in South Dakota.

The study says while 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 because attendees with asymptomatic or mild illness may not have been tested for COVID-19.

If you would like to read the study, you may do so here:

academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab321/6257584