Live music was one of the first industries to suffer in a big way following the COVID-19 lockdown. While artists and venues have largely followed CDC safety guidelines by moving concerts to online livestreams, Smash Mouth decided to do the opposite. The band performed to thousands last month at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota and health officials worried the event would be a super-spreader. Just one week later, more than 100 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed to be connected to the event and now, the first COVID-related death has been linked to the largely-unmasked event in South Dakota.
The New York Times reported a man from Minnesota is the first known Sturgis Rally attendee to die from COVID-19 complications. The state’s health officials revealed the man was in his 60’s and had pre-existing health conditions. The man was admitted to the hospital where he remained under intensive care for several weeks.
Though the Sturgis Rally was in South Dakota, more than 50 cases confirmed COVID cases in Minnesota have been linked to the rally. This past week, South Dakota reported more than 2,000 new cases, setting a record for most cases reported by the state in one day.
Cases continue to rise in the state but South Dakota is still going forward with holding a state fair. The fair has warned attendees of health risks associated with attending large scale events on their website: “Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. By visiting the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
Read the New York Times‘ full report here.