Long Island 'superspreader' wedding causes dozens of infections, school closures

Long Island ‘superspreader’ wedding causes dozens of infections, school closures

A wedding hosted in Long Island, New York has resulted in dozens of people testing positive for COVID-19 and over 150 people needing to quarantine. Several local schools have temporarily closed to contain the spread.

North Fork Country Club, where the event was hosted on October 17, has had its liquor licence revoked by the state of New York. This comes after they hosted a wedding with 113 guests in attendance, way above the 50-person threshold allowed under New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order limiting gatherings.

They also face $30,000 (R463 962) in fines due to “multiple counts of failure to comply” with COVID-19 regulations.

Since the wedding, about 30 people tested positive for COVID-19, including three employees at the country club and a wedding vendor. An estimated 159 people who were present may have been exposed to the virus, and have gone into a two-week quarantine. Multiple schools in the area even temporarily shut down over fears of a further outbreak. 

“As we have seen in weddings and similar events across the country during this pandemic, large gatherings can easily be super-spreader events, too often with dire consequences,” Cuomo said. “Hosting one of these events after all New York has been through is obnoxious and irresponsible—not to mention illegal.”

The tri-state area, which includes New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, is bracing for a second wave of the virus. New citywide restrictions have been imposed in New Jersey and may soon be imposed in New York, which could include a shutdown of nonessential businesses if the average infection rate continues to climb as it has been over the last week, according to the city’s health department.

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