By Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota health officials said Thursday they will send 20 COVID-19 testing machines capable of producing tests in a matter of minutes to help carry out the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 80th edition of the annual rally is expected to attract thousands of people to western South Dakota next month, which previous estimates have found that the event draws in $800 million. About 500,000 people have shown up in previous years, according to estimates from the city of Sturgis. The city council decided to cautiously proceed with the 10-day rally, scaling back some of the events, after realizing motorcycle enthusiasts planned to show up regardless, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Sturgis is making 1,300 tests available for residents. Additionally, the Department of Health plans to send the machines made by Abbott and called “ID NOW” to the area. The machines can produce COVID-19 tests in as little as 13 minutes, according to the company that makes them.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state intends to use the machines at universities after Sturgis.

Meanwhile, South Dakota’s death toll stemming from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 100 on Thursday as health officials reported three people who died from COVID-19.

The people who died were all men and came from Pennington, Todd and Yankton counties. Two were in their 60s, while the other was over 80, according to data from the Department of Health.

Health officials also reported 94 new cases. There have been a total of 7,336 cases recorded in the state, but 86% of them have recovered.

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