A "superspreader" wedding on Long Island has left dozens of people infected and hundreds quarantining.
Earlier this month, 91 people gathered at the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, New York, to celebrate a wedding on Oct. 17. Within two weeks, 30 guests had tested positive for the coronavirus and 159 people had been exposed by wedding attendees and forced to self-quarantine, according to Suffolk County health officials, The Washington Post reported.
The total number of people who were infected amounts to "one-third of all of those in attendance,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a news conference Wednesday. “Think about that for a second.” Bellone called the wedding a "superspreader" event.
Elsewhere on Long Island, a birthday party held the same day as the wedding had a guest list of 50 people and led to another 26 coronavirus cases, according to Bellone. Those guests exposed an additional 132 people who have been asked to quarantine as well.
“This type of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” Bellone said Wednesday. “If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible.”
Bellone said that county health officials recommend two fines that total at $17,000 against the North Fork Country Club for violating a county sanitary code as well as a statewide mandate restricting gatherings to no more than 50 people.
As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 505,416 confirmed cases and 33,107 deaths in New York since the beginning of the pandemic, according to The New York Times database.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2,029 new cases were reported in the state and there were at least 15 new coronavirus-related deaths. Over the past week, there has been an average of 1,739 cases per day, an increase of 26 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
Amid the rising numbers, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to avoid family gatherings for the holidays in a press conference Wednesday, per the Post.
"My personal advice is the best way to say, 'I love you,' this Thanksgiving, the best way to say, 'I’m thankful for you,' is to say, 'I love you so much, I’m so thankful for you, that I don’t want to endanger you, and I don’t want to endanger our family, and I don’t want to endanger our friends. So we’ll celebrate virtually.'" Cuomo said. "But that is my personal opinion."
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