NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of Halloween revelers gathered at two warehouse parties this weekend in the city, creating a scary scene from a public health perspective.
The New York City Sheriff says nearly 400 people in costume crammed into a Williamsburg, Brooklyn warehouse just past midnight on Saturday. There was a DJ and only some wore face masks as alcohol was served at three different walkup bars.
Later Saturday night it was like déjà vu at a warehouse on Seabury Avenue in the Bronx. Sheriff’s deputies counted nearly 600 people dancing. Some were captured on video around the DJ area without masks. Twenty people were arrested and containers of alcohol were carted away as the location didn’t have a proper liquor license. Tens of thousands of dollars in fines were handed out as well.
“Stupid people. What can I say? Nothing. Just stupid,” Upper West Side resident Galina Gvozdvia told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
“Even here, people yesterday they lined up for the Halloween costume with absolute no distancing,” resident Ursula Schoeni added.
Across the river, police in Newark confiscated $10,000 worth of alcohol and made two arrests at a warehouse party. Officers also closed five businesses, including Lit 21, which allegedly violated the city’s 8 p.m. curfew, had no personal protective equipment and was over capacity, and Vivo Lounge on Ferry Street was also closed and cited for having patrons inside past the city’s cutoff time for customers.
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The actions come on the same weekend Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the required 14-day quarantine for most travelers and put in place new guidelines.
“It can actually make it easier and safer to come and go,” Cuomo said.
Starting this Wednesday, to avoid the quarantine, travelers to New York can take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before their trip and be negative, upload those results online and then quarantine for three days. Lastly, they can take a second test on the fourth day that is negative.
“I would have liked to have seen actually a test at day number five instead of day number four. So, five to six days is slightly statistically better to pick up cases, but I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Stuart Weiss, owner of Rapid Test Center on Columbus Avenue in Manhattan.
Weiss said he is now anticipating an increase in customers. His center provides COVID-19 test results via email in 15 to 30 minutes.
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Mark Gerson walked in just before closing Sunday night ahead of meetings Monday.
“I just want to make sure I’m healthy going into the week,” Gerson said.
Cuomo said those traveling to neighboring states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont and Massachusetts do not have to quarantine or worry about testing upon return. However, he is urging residents not to travel to see family for Thanksgiving.
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