Notices go out for mass COVID testing in Sturgis

When the mass testing is done in Sturgis following the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year, the processing of the tests will be done locally with results in about two days. The photo shows COVID-19 testing being done at Monument Health in Rapid City. Courtesy photo

STURGIS — Notices have gone out offering vouchers for free COVID-19 testing following the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The city will work in cooperation with Monument Health to offer the testing the week following this year’s Rally at a location, probably in a parking lot, somewhere in Sturgis.

The applications have been sent out electronically to businesses that are in the qualifying categories, to Meade County and to the Meade School District, Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said.

There is an application form that individuals must complete. Once that is done, those individuals need to send the form back to the city. Forms will be received by the city beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21.

“It’s first-come, first-served. We will provide vouchers to them. Hopefully we will have enough tests to cover what the requests are,” Ainslie said.

The form includes information that says the cost of the testing will be paid by the city of Sturgis as long as the patient presents a valid city of Sturgis COVID-19 testing voucher.

Details about COVID-19 testing for residents of Sturgis is still being finalized, Ainslie said.

“We are still meeting with Monument. We don’t have that yet,” he said.

What is known is that the testing for Sturgis residents will mostly likely be done as a drive-up on a first-come, first-served basis, Ainslie said.

“They will have to have some proof of residency,” he said.

Sturgis city officials and members of the Sturgis City Council believe that mass testing of Sturgis residents following the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one way of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The Sturgis City Council voted unanimously at its July 6 meeting to contract with Monument Health to administer up to 1,300 COVID-19 tests.

Each test costs about $150 and the $195,000 total cost will come from the city’s general fund. The city hopes it will be reimbursed the cost through the state’s Local Government COVID Recovery Fund.

Processing of the tests would be done locally with results in about two days.

Here is how the tests would be divided:

150 city employees (mandatory)

400 Sturgis residents who work frontline jobs (such as restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores)

200 employees of other entities (such as the county and school district) who have requested testing

550 general residents of Sturgis

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