Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced enforcement action in response to two recent events that violated New York State Executive Orders, which limits non-essential gatherings to 50 individuals. The County Executive also discussed a third event that resulted in widespread transmission of COVID-19 among party guests.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense challenges to our community and country as a whole,” said Executive Bellone. “Here in Suffolk County, we went from being the epicenter of the pandemic to having some of the best numbers in the country. That was not by mistake. We have come too far to go back.”
While noting that the vast majority of Suffolk County residents continue to comply with the COVID-19 rules, the County Executive, flanked by both the County health commissioner and police commissioner, said that the county continues to see a number of instances where either a businesses or individuals violate the law and put themselves and others in danger.
A notice of violation will be issued to the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, which hosted a wedding on October 17 with 91 individuals in attendance. Fines may include $15,000 for violations of Section 12-B(2) of the Public Health Law and violations of New York Executive Orders and $2,000 for violations of Suffolk County Sanitary Code.
Health officials report 30 individuals who attended the wedding or were staff members at the wedding, have tested positive for COVID-19. All positive cases are under isolation, and 159 contacts currently under quarantine. The Department of Health Services has conducted comprehensive case investigations and reports no further community spread related to this event.
A Farmingville resident hosted a party on Saturday October 24, with between 200 and 300 guests in attendance. The resident received field appearance tickets for criminal nuisance and allowing consumption of alcohol to minors under 21 years of age.
Additionally, due to violations of New York State Executive Orders, the resident will be issued a notice of violation and the Health Department is recommending a fine of $2,500.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is aware of this party, and if a positive COVID-19 case in connection to this event arises, health officials will launch a comprehensive case investigation.
A third event, a birthday party that took place on Saturday, October 17 in Bellport with approximately 50 people in attendance, did not violate the social gathering limits but did lead to COVID-19 transmission due to limited social distancing.
Of those in attendance, 26 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, more than half of all those in attendance. All those who tested positive are under isolation and 132 contacts of those who attended the party are in quarantine. Health officials do not believe there is any further community spread related to this event.
“We launched comprehensive case investigations of both the wedding in Cutchogue and the party in Bellport, and due to the tireless efforts of our disease investigators, we were able to prevent further the spread of this virus as it relates to this event,” said Dr. Gregson Pigott, Commissioner of Health Services.
County Executive Bellone reminded residents that as we approach the Halloween weekend, we want to be mindful of the spread of this virus. He encouraged residents to enjoy the holiday, but do so safely.