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Coronavirus cases linked to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally found in 8 states

More than 100 cases have been found in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Dakotas.
Image: Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally To Be Held Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
People watch a concert at the Full Throttle Saloon during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., on Aug. 9.Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images

Coronavirus cases linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have been confirmed in South Dakota and at least seven other states.

The North Dakota Health Department tweeted Monday that 17 people "who are connected to" the large rally have tested positive for the virus.

"Those who attended the rally should closely monitor for symptoms & get tested at a free ND testing site," the agency said.

Other cases have been confirmed in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and South Dakota, where the 10-day rally was held, The Associated Press reported. About 103 cases in total have been linked to the event.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

A spokesperson said Tuesday that the South Dakota Health Department has found 40 cases of COVID-19 related to the event, including three out-of-state cases.

One of those cases is that of a resident who visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon on Aug. 11, state health officials said in a news release.

Last week, a health official in neighboring Minnesota said 15 people who attended the massive gathering and festival had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. One person who tested positive was hospitalized.

The director of the Minnesota Health Department's infectious disease division, Kris Ehresmann, said during a conference call with news outlets that 14 of the cases were those of attendees and that one was that of a volunteer who worked "in a temporary bar situation."

"We're expecting that we're going to see many more cases associated with Sturgis," she said. "Thousands of people attended that event, and so it's very likely that we will see more transmission."

In Nebraska, at least seven new cases have been linked to the rally, the Panhandle Public Health District said, without providing further details. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The rally, which ran from Aug. 7 to Aug. 16 in Sturgis, about 30 miles northwest of Rapid City, drew attendees on more than 460,000 vehicles, the South Dakota Transportation Department said. That was down by nearly 8 percent from the roughly 500,000 vehicles at last year's rally.

This year's rally drew scrutiny after images and video appeared to show very few attendees wearing masks or observing social distancing. The lead singer for the band Smash Mouth came under fire for mocking the pandemic onstage.