STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota is planning to step up COVID-19 testing following this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The 80th annual event is less that a month away and motorcyclists are expected to come from across the country.
Business owner like Bryan Carter are glad to hear that there will be mass testing following this year’s rally.
“I think it’s a good idea and we’re going to know. If we survive this test decently, I mean it’s going to be a homerun for South Dakota,” said Carter, owner of Knuckle Saloon.
The testing will happen roughly four to seven days after the rally, which would be enough time for people to show symptoms if they catch the virus during the event, according to a health official.
The rally is from August 7 through August 16.
“We’re basically testing a number of people regardless of symptoms, though we would encourage anybody who has symptoms to be tested sooner rather than later. We just get a general sense of the population by testing everyone,” Morgan Newman, Manager of Ambulatory Operations at Sturgis Monument Health, said.
People will have the tests performed in their cars rather than overcrowding inside the hospital and clinic.
“It will be a coordinated event in an area where people can remain in their vehicles, we’ll collect the sample. And then we can help with the follow-up as far as results,” Newman said.
In the meantime, businesses like the Knuckle Saloon are preparing to take extra steps to keep staff and rally goers safe as the big week approaches.
The City of Sturgis is also helping to coordinate the mass testing event after the rally.