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COVID-19: Thousands In Fines Issued In Crackdown On Long Island Super-Spreader Events

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on recent violations of the state's COVID-19 mandates.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on recent violations of the state's COVID-19 mandates. Video Credit: Suffolk County

Thousands of dollars in fines were dished out to a Long Island Country Club and Suffolk County homeowner for hosting potential COVID-19 super-spreader events in violation of state mandates.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said that the North Fork Country Club hosted a wedding on Saturday, Oct. 17, with 91 people in attendance, while a Farmingville homeowner hosted a house party on Saturday, Oct. 24 with between 200 and 300 people.

The wedding led to 30 positive COVID-19 cases, which have been isolated, with 159 other contacts under a 14-day quarantine.

For hosting the wedding, the North Fork Country Club was fined $15,000, the maximum, for violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order on mass gatherings of more than 50 people, and cited an additional $2,000 for violating the Suffolk County sanitary code, Bellone said.

The fines at the country club come shortly after the Miller Inn was fined for holding a Sweet 16 party that became Long Island’s first super-spreader event.

“Here in Suffolk, we went from being at the epicenter of virus and now we’re in one of the best positions in the country,” Bellone said.

“While the vast majority of our residents continue to comply with all the (COVID-19) rules, unfortunately we also see a number of instances where a business or resident violates health and safety guidelines put in place for the protection of us all.”

Bellone said that on Oct. 24, Suffolk County Police received multiple calls about the house party in Farmingville, which was mostly filled with minors.

The homeowner was fined $2,500 for violating the governor’s Executive Order, and issued citations for hosting a party with minors consuming alcohol. This was the first fine to be issued in Suffolk County for violations of the mass gathering mandate.

“This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely dissapointng,” Bellone said. “It will not be tolerated and if you violate the rules you will be caught and held responsible.”

Bellone also made note of a second party in Bellport, which had less than 50 people in attendance, but may have served as a super-spreading event, as 26 people tested positive for COVID-19, and 132 close contacts have already been placed into quarantine.

“We’ve come too far, been through too much, and experienced too much pain, anxiety, and harm,” the County Executive said. “Between this wedding and the birthday party there are 56 positive COVID-19 cases and nearly 300 people under quarantine.

“These kind of super-spreader events are a threat to our public health and continued economic recovery. This activity threatens to bring us back.” 

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