A coronavirus outbreak in Long Island that has left 56 people infected and more than 300 in quarantine has been linked to a country club wedding and a birthday party earlier this month, officials say.
At least 90 people attended a wedding at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue on October 17, violating the state’s 50-person gathering limit.
Since then, 30 people, including 27 guests, two country club employees and an outside vendor, have tested positive for COVID-19, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said on Wednesday.
At least 30 virus cases have been linked to a Long Island wedding on October 17
Ninety people gathered for the event at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (pictured) on Wednesday announced the venue has been fined $17,000
Another 156 people believed to have been exposed to guests have now been forced into quarantine as a result.
The outbreak has also been traced back to a second superspreader event that same day, when 50 people gathered for a birthday party in Bellport.
Despite being in compliance with state restrictions, 26 guests have since tested positive for the virus, sending 132 people into quarantine.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Bellone said the outbreak at the gathering was likely due to a lack of social distancing.
‘These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery,’ he said at a news conference.
Bellone also announced county officials have issued a $17,000 fine on the wedding venue for violating the statewide health mandate.
The event is now also under investigation by the State Liquor Authority, according to The New York Times.
‘This type of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing – it will not be tolerated,’ Bellone said. ‘If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible.’
The outbreak comes amid a troubling spike in cases across New York, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic.
Nearly 49,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Sulfolk County since March, with 2,019 deaths.