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Coronavirus case at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally prompts warning from health department

A person visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon in Sturgis "while able to transmit the virus to others," officials said.
Image: Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally To Be Held Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Motorcyclists drive down Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on Aug. 7, 2020 in Sturgis, S.D.Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images file

A person who visited a bar during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials in South Dakota said.

The person visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon in Sturgis between noon and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, "while able to transmit the virus to others," according to a news release by the state's Department of Health.

"Due to the risk of exposure, individuals that visited the business during the specified dates and times should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after they visited," the health department said.

The health department said the person who tested positive is a resident of South Dakota but did not give any other details.

The rally kicked off Aug. 7 in Sturgis, about 30 miles northwest of Rapid City, and ended on Sunday. The state's Department of Transportation said that the 10-day event attracted more than 460,000 vehicles, down nearly 8 percent from last year's numbers.

In 2019, about 500,000 vehicles entered the city with an estimated 490,000 people in attendance, according to the Associated Press.

Officials had previously said they thought roughly 250,000 people from around the country would attend the rally this year.

Rallygoers were encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. The governor of South Dakota never issued a stay-at-home order or mask mandate for the state. Many of those who traveled to the rally didn't appear to take significant precautions against the virus.

Some people were seen wearing masks and said they were going to avoid large crowds, but others packed close together in bars and at concerts.

To try and catch outbreaks of the virus, residents of Sturgis will be able to take a coronavirus test free of charge one week after the rally.