15 cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota linked to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Health officials had advised Minnesotans not to attend.
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Minnesota health officials say they are aware of 15 people in the state who have contracted COVID-19 after attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

The annual event went ahead despite concerns from locals about possible transmission of the virus, and saw hundreds of thousands of bikers attend over the 10-day-long rally, with limited social distancing or face mask measures in place.

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health said it received report of its first COVID-19 case linked to Sturgis on Thursday, and 14 more on Friday.

Of those, one person has been hospitalized.

Those who tested positive were found to have visited multiple bars, campgrounds and events during their stay in Sturgis, so determining a specific infection point has been difficult.

It comes a day after Nebraska confirmed 7 cases linked to the rally, which saw a larger-than-expected 460,000 bikers in attendance.

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Minnesota health officials had advised state residents against attending this year's rally, and those who did attend were told to self-isolate upon their return.

Meanwhile, South Dakota health officials have identified two potential exposures during the course of the festival, which the Star Tribune notes includes one bar patron, and the other a tattoo parlor employee.

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