Officials said that weddings and birthday parties in suburban New York turned into two Covid-19 “super spreaders” incidents, infecting more than 50 people and quarantining nearly 300 people.
Suffolk County executive Steven Veron said at a news conference on Wednesday: “This kind of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated.”
Veron said the October 17 wedding at the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, Long Island, violated the state’s rules for rooms with fewer than 50 people. Officials said the venue was fined $1
Veron said that of the 91 participants, 30 were subsequently tested positive, including 27 guests, two employees and an external supplier. He said that as a result, nearly 160 people were quarantined.
North Fork Country Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Veron said that an adult birthday party attended by about 50 people was held in nearby Bellport on the same day. Veron said that although it did not violate emergency health regulations, the incident showed that the virus can spread rapidly under inappropriate social isolation.
He said that more than half of the guests (26) tested positive for the coronavirus and 132 of them were forced to quarantine.
Officials added that six school districts in Suffolk County have been affected by positive cases and related exposure risks.
Veron said at the time that it was a violation of public health after the “Sweet 16” “Super Spreader” gathering held at the Miller Square Hotel in Suffolk County was fined $12,000 two weeks ago. Officials said more than 32 people who tested positive were related to the incident, including 28 students and 9 adults.
According to Johns Hopkins’ Covid-19 Information Center, as of Thursday morning, Suffolk County has reported nearly 50,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,000 deaths. The state is the most affected state. One of the severe Covid-19 counties and the 15th deadliest county in the country.
Veron added: “Such super-spread incidents pose a threat to our public health and our continued economic recovery.”
He said: “If you violate the regulations, you will be hunted down and held responsible.”