Health Officials Following Surge In Cases Linked To Birthday, Halloween Parties

NORTH FORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)- Health officials say residents gathering for small birthday and Halloween parties on Long Island caused a disturbing spike in confirmed coronavirus cases, and repercussions from an East End superspreader wedding are still being felt.

The North Fork Country Club is not yet commenting on the hefty fines and suspension of its liquor license for hosting a superspreader event. In violation of the state’s 50 person limit for non-essential gatherings.

“Spread a bunch of cases and caused a lot of schools to shut down,” said North Fork resident Katie Nave in an interview with CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “It’s upsetting, it’s selfish.”

A Long Island couple from Ronkonkoma celebrated their nuptials at the country club in October, unaware a patron was exposing and spreading COVID to dozens of guests.

MORE: Suffolk County Cracking Down On Businesses, Homeowners Violating Social Gathering Limits

“All of those positive COVID-19 cases are under isolation and there are 159 contacts that are currently under quarantine,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

As a result of the superspreader wedding, ripple effects are still being felt. Several attendees who work in schools meant the shut down of in-person learning.

“I work in a special ed classroom and, you know, they need our presence,” said Sandy Urban, a teacher.

Restaurants and servers that helped were forced to self-quarantine and close doors temporarily.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Long Island leaders say they are now ramping up the number of employees who will work as case investigators and contact tracers.

They are now following the surge from recent birthday parties and Halloween.

“On Halloween, we saw people were posting about it, like that they were at huge parties with, like, no masks,” said Anna Szarka, a high school student.

And the Suffolk Health Department warns those who ate or drank at Mannino’s restaurant and lounge and the Village Idiot Irish Pub, two Oakdale establishments, between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 should get tested for COVID-19.

Both the restaurant and pub say customers brought in the virus. Workers have quarantined and the buildings have undergone two rounds of sanitizing.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Listen to all the experts, come together, and do the best we can,” said Duffy Drum, a North Fork resident.

Health officials warn even small Thanksgiving gatherings that follow state guidelines can put you at risk. Wear masks.

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