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Health Expert Warns Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Risky For Unvaccinated People

HarleyMotorcyclesSturgis.jpg
Lee Strubinger
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COVID-19 cases are trending upward in some western South Dakota counties. Health officials say the upcoming Sturgis motorcycle rally poses a further risk to unvaccinated people.  

Dr. Shankar Kurra is vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City. He says the rally provides places for the virus to spread. 

“Now with the Sturgis rally, as much as it’s outdoors, folks have to use the facilities for food, for drinks, for restroom breaks. And that’s where the risk is the highest.” 

South Dakota experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases after last year’s rally, before vaccines were available. Since then, 53 percent of South Dakotans 12 and older have been fully vaccinated. But in some West River counties, the percentage is much lower. 

The Sturgis motorcycle rally begins on August sixth. 

This story comes from a recent interview on SDPB's weekday radio program, "In the Moment." Listen to the full interview below.