A wedding and birthday party in suburban New York turned into two Covid-19 “superspreader” events that infected more than 50 people and left nearly 300 in quarantine, officials said.
“This kind of blatant disregard for the well being of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Bellone said the wedding held on Oct. 17 at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, Long Island, was in violation of the state’s rule on 50 people or less in a room. The venue was issued a $17,000 fine, officials said.
Out of the 91 attendees, 30 people later tested positive, consisting of 27 guests, two employees, and an outside vendor, Bellone said. Nearly 160 people had to quarantine as a result, he said.
North Fork Country Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An adult birthday party of about 50 attendees in nearby Bellport, occurred that same day, Bellone said. While it did not violate emergency state health codes, Bellone said the event showcased how quickly the virus could spread with improper social distancing.
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More than half of the guests, 26 people, tested positive for the coronavirus and 132 being forced to quarantine, he said.
Six school districts in Suffolk County have already been affected by the positive cases and associated risk of exposure, officials added.
The public health violations come two weeks after a Sweet 16 “super-spreader” party at Miller Place Inn in Suffolk County was fined $12,000, Bellone said at the time. More than three dozen people who tested positive were linked to the event, including 28 students and nine adults, officials said.
As of Thursday morning, Suffolk County has reported nearly 50,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,000 deaths — one of the state’s hardest-hit Covid-19 counties and the 15th deadliest county in the country, according to Johns Hopkins’ Covid-19 dashboard.
Bellone added: “These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery.”
“If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible,” he said.