At least seven Covid-19 cases in Nebraska’s Panhandle region have been tied to the rally, Kim Engel, director of the Panhandle Public Health District, confirmed in an email to CNN.
The department said that contact tracing had been completed, and it declined to comment further.
Minnesota also confirmed 15 cases of Covid-19 connected with the rally, according to Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Health Department Infectious Disease Division. Of those 15 cases, one person has been hospitalized. Health officials say they expect to see additional cases in the next few days, Ehresmann said.
The person was an employee of Asylum Tattoo Sturgis and could have spread the virus to others on August 13-17 from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., officials said.
Anyone who visited either the tattoo shop or the saloon, which are located at the same address, during that period should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the visit.
Rally had raised concerns
Health experts were concerned that this year’s Sturgis motorcycle rally could be a “super spreader” event. The 10-day mass gathering typically draws crowds of more than 500,000 people from all over the country, including coronavirus hotspots.
Many of the attendees did not comply with health guidelines such as wearing masks and keeping distance from others, as seen at a concert for the rock band Smash Mouth.
“There are people throughout America who have been locked up for months and months,” Daniel Ainslie, the city manager, told CNN last week. “So we kept hearing from people saying it doesn’t matter, they are coming to Sturgis. So with that, ultimately the council decided that it was really vital for the community to be prepared for the additional people that we’re going to end up having.”
South Dakota reported 193 new cases on Friday. It’s one of several states that have seen an increase in new cases this past week compared to the week prior, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
CNN’s Eric Levenson and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.