Health officials in New York City were forced to shut down an ultra-orthodox Jewish wedding planned for Monday, October 19 that was expected to bring 10 000 guests together in Brooklyn, one of the city’s COVID-19 hotspots.
New York has had 519 994 confirmed coronavirus cases and 33 477 deaths. It is the state with the most COVID-19 cases by far, although they currently have the lowest rate of new cases.
State health commissioner Dr Howard A. Zucker had the sheriff’s deputies deliver an order to the Hasidic synagogue, Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, warning them to follow health protocols and limit gatherings to less than 50 people. A section 16 order was issued, which carries a $10 000 daily fine if violated.
The synagogue claimed they were victims of “unwarranted attacks” by city officials. They said that the wedding, held for a grandson of the synagogue’s rabbi, would be attended by close family only, and that the public were invited to participate for a short period of time.
The wedding will continue but will be restricted to an even smaller guest list of close family only. Leaders in the orthodox Jewish community are planning a mass prayer via phone for Tuesday, October 20 in response to the wedding’s shutdown.