Sturgis Rally COVID-19 Cases Spreading

 The Minnesota Dept of Health says 15 Minnesota residents have been confirmed of contracting COVID-19 at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which ended Sunday.

      Department spokesman Kris Ehresmann says the first case was reported Thursday and the rest on Friday with officials expecting the number to grow.

     The South Dakota Dept of Health issued a warning Thursday that about 2 dozen people in multiple states had been confirmed as catching COVID-19 at the Rally.

     Tabi Prochaska with Panhandle Public Health District says South Dakota officials have been notifying their counterparts in Nebraska and other states when potential community exposure sites are identified, adding that the Panhandle has begun to see cases connected to the Rally.

      Panhandle Unified Command confirmed 11 more cases of COVID-19 and 4 recoveries on Friday, but did not release a breakdown by county.

       The Panhandle has now confirmed 544 cases with 455 recoveries, and 6 deaths with 83 active cases, 7 more than on Thursday, and 1 hospitalized case, 2 fewer than on Thursday.

       Nebraska Health and Human Services reported 278 new cases, 316 additional recoveries, and 3 more deaths on Friday, dropping the number of active cases in the state by 31.

      The state totals now stand at 31,626 cases with 23,608 recoveries, 376 deaths, and 7,642 active cases including 140 hospitalizations – 6 fewer than Thursday. 34% of all hospital beds and 35% of ICU beds in the state remain available along with 80% of respirators.

       Free testing remains available twice a week in both Chadron and Gordon through Test Nebraska with pre-registration required through

       The next testing in Chadron is Monday morning from 7-9:00 at the ER entrance to the old Chadron Hospital, off Morehead Street across an interior parking lot from Wilson Park