That is a good way to take it.
Based on other peer-reviewed studies/research papers I have read in the past I would very much question the impartiality of the "study". To many assumptions by the authors to be much more than a piece designed to be used by media individuals and not to further research/knowledge into COVID, IMHO.
https://reason.com/2020/09/09/no-the-st ... rus-cases/According to South Dakota health officials, 124 new cases in the state—including one fatal case—were directly linked to the rally. Overall, COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis rally were reported in 11 states as of September 2, to a tune of at least 260 new cases, according to The Washington Post.
There very well may be more cases that have been linked to the early August event, but so far, that's only 260 confirmed cases—about 0.1 percent of the number the IZA paper offers.
To get to the astronomical number of cases allegedly spread because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the researchers analyzed "anonymized cellphone data to track the smartphone pings from non-residents and movement of those before and after the event," notes Newsweek. "The study then linked those who attended and traveled back to their home states, and compared changes in coronavirus trends after the rally's conclusion."
Essentially, the researchers assumed that new spikes in cases in areas where people went post-rally must have been caused by those rally attendees, despite there being no particular evidence that this was the case. The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, failed to account for simultaneous happenings—like schools in South Dakota reopening, among other things—that could have contributed to coronavirus spread in some of the studied areas.