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A healthcare company in South Dakota that urges people to avoid social gatherings is hosting an indoor country concert

Singer/songwriter Chris Young performs during a stop of the Raised on Country World Tour 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on August 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Singer/songwriter Chris Young performs during a stop of the Raised on Country World Tour 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on August 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Singer/songwriter Chris Young performs during a stop of the Raised on Country World Tour 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on August 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
  • South Dakota's Sanford Health is hosting country music star Chris Young at an arena in Sioux Falls in October. 
  • The venue was temporarily closed earlier in the pandemic, and it appears that Young's show will be its first event since reopening.
  • The indoor event won't require masks and it's unclear if social distancing will be enforced.
  • It's being held two months after health officials said the state's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally led to 100 COVID-19 cases in eight states.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

South Dakota's governor and a healthcare company are hosting a country concert at an indoor arena in October despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Country singer Chris Young is scheduled to perform at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 24, for an event hosted by Governor Kristi Noem and presented by Sanford Health, a healthcare nonprofit that has spent the last six months offering COVID-19 tests and educating people on how to be safe during the pandemic.

The event, which was previously reported on by The Daily Beast, will be indoors and masks will not be required.

Experts overwhelmingly believe that the coronavirus is more likely to spread indoors, because of more limited airflow, and that masks help prevent its spread.

According to The Daily Beast, event organizers are expecting around 5,000 attendees. The venue can host 12,000 for concerts, though its upper deck is currently closed to visitors, limiting the actual space for attendees.

It's unclear if social distancing will be encouraged. TicketMaster shows entire seating sections nearly sold out for the show.

This will be Young's first concert in front of a crowd in months. He canceled tour dates in May, June, July, and August because of the pandemic, saying public safety was his "first priority."

Spokespeople for Young, Sanford Health, Denny Sanford Premier Center, and Noem's office did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

South Dakota has come under particular scrutiny after hosting its annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August, for which nearly 500,000 bike enthusiasts traveled to attend.

Weeks later, health departments in eight different states traced over 100 of their COVID-19 cases back to the rally.

As the number of COVID-19 cases surged in South Dakota in September, Noem said she was taking a "very balanced" approach to the pandemic by keeping businesses open, according to the Associated Press.

The state, which as of 2019 had a population of 884,659, has seen 18,869 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, and 202 deaths from the virus.

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