Sturgis preps to protect against COVID-19 spread after the rally

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FILE – In this Aug. 5, 2015, file photo, motorcycles stretch down Main Street in Sturgis, S.D., for the landmark Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The annual rally begins it’s 10-day run Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. State transportation officials are expecting between 500,000 and 600,000 bikers this year. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — Up to 1,300 coronavirus tests will be available for Sturgis residents following the annual motorcycle rally in August, which typically draws hundreds of thousands of riders to the city.

City manager Daniel Ainslie briefed the City Council Monday night on the plan to protect local residents from contracting COVID-19 when the rally is held Aug. 7-16.

Besides regular testing for people with symptoms, the report says asymptomatic front-line residents would be able to be tested following the rally.

The proposal is meant “to identify asymptomatic residents following the events so that they can self-isolate to avoid inadvertent spread.” Monument Health would be able to conduct up to 1,300 tests to identify asymptomatic patients.

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