CUTCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County is coming down hard on businesses and homeowners who violate social gathering limits during the pandemic.
A wedding and a teen house party with hundreds of guests were among the events cited Wednesday as potential superspreaders, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports.
North Folk Country Club in Cutchogue has been hit with hefty fines after holding a wedding Suffolk officials say ignored social gathering regulations.
There were 91 people, nearly double the limit, resulting in 30 guests testing COVID positive and 150 people being told to quarantine.
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“This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
Slapped with $17,000 in fines, the latest alleged superspreader event was assailed by Bellone, including a birthday party in Bellport in which half the 50 guests tested positive.
“Twenty-six people leaving there not knowing that they were going out into the world, into their homes, into their places of work and spreading the virus,” Bellone said.
There was also a weekend house party in Farmingville.
“It was a large crowd. There was a lot of people in the backyard,” one neighbor said.
Suffolk Police say there were 200-300 teens, many seen without masks or social distancing. The homeowner was cited for violating the social host law and fined $2,500.
“An event like this one in Farmingville not only has the potential for horrendous consequences when underage individuals drink alcohol, but has the probability of causing a chain reaction of COVID-19,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
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Officials say there are no known clusters yet from Saturday’s party, but they are monitoring and warning residents about Halloween gatherings.
In a county that has made so much progress, there’s little patience for moving backwards.
North Folk Country Club has not responded to CBS2’s request for comment. One accused caterer recently claimed they were unaware of the state’s 50-person cap. County officials say at this point, there’s no excuse.
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