NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Officials in Rockland County are scrambling to contain a coronavirus cluster.
It’s linked to a party held two weeks ago, and some of those infected are refusing to assist contact tracers, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday.
It happened June 17 in New City, a party attracting several dozen 20-somethings. Health officials said the host was not feeling well. County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said the host and eight guests have tested positive for coronavirus.
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Local residents find the whole thing disturbing.
“Young and dumb. You feel sick and know something is wrong. Then you gotta take those precautions and say no,” Charles Rafferty said.
“We have Fourth of July coming up. Are these people gonna have more parties? It’s sad, very sad. It’s a silent killer,” Bernadin Rafferty added.
Town of Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said he believes many of those testing positive live elsewhere.
“While the party is reported to have taken place in Clarkstown, the information that the Health Department has shared with us doesn’t indicate there’s any spike within the town of Clarkstown,” Hoehmann said.
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Rockland County said contract tracers working to identify others at risk are running into resistance from people at the party.
“My staff has been told that a person does not wish to, or have to speak to, my disease investigators. They hang up,” Dr. Schnabel Ruppert said.
“We are deadly serious. I will not allow to have the health of our county compromised because of ignorance, stupidity or obstinance, or anything else, for that matter, County Executive Ed Day added.
The county is ready to get tough and is threatening to subpoena and fine those who refuse to cooperate with contact tracing efforts.
Clarkstown police say they are ready to enforce social distancing, and respond to complaints of large parties during the holiday weekend.