Monday, January 25, 2021

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Tribe Incident Commander: Seek alternate routes when traveling to Sturgis

“Seek alternate routes. You can go on Highway 34 or the interstate,” says Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Incident Commander Dave Nelson.

South Dakota is expecting a large influx of travelers due to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which kicks off this Friday and lasts until Aug. 16. The city of Sturgis, which is home to about 7,000 residents, normally sees about 500,000 visitors during the rally, the largest gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts in the world.

With the coronavirus pandemic, the City is expecting half that number this year.

On Cheyenne River, the number of positive cases has increased to 73, although 60 are listed as recovered. With 82 percent of individuals recovered from the virus, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe updated their emergency response plan to better reflect the situation and in doing so, adjusted the their emergency response plan to Level 3, meaning that travels permits are not required.

The Tribe is still following its original guidelines for not allowing non-commercial travel on the reservation. As normal, emergency services and commercial traffic will not be turned away.

“We are phasing out some things and adjusting everything based on positive cases,” said Nelson.

As far as planning travel routes to get to Sturgis? Nelson emphasized the various ways the Tribe’s Covid-19 response plan is available: on; signage posted along routes that go through the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation; the Tribe’s CRST COVID-19 Updates Facebook page. describes Hwy. 212 on the reservation as “Civil emergency with NO TRAVEL ADVISED.” The same description is used for part of SD-20 which is on the reservation.

“Again, I encourage travelers to seek alternate routes,” Nelson stated.

If you have questions about the CRST Public Health Checkpoints, you may call the CRST Command Center at 605-964-2100.

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Screenshot from SaveTravelUSA

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