Upscale Long Island country club loses its liquor license after hosting a ‘superspreader’ wedding with 113-guests that has been linked to more than 30 coronavirus cases and forced 159 people into quarantine
- At least 34 virus cases have been linked to a Long Island wedding on October 17
- 113 guests gathered for the event at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue
- The venue has been charged with ‘multiple counts of failure to comply’ executive order’ and ‘failure to exercise adequate supervision of their premises’
- More than a third of guests tested positive since, forcing 159 into quarantine
- Several schools were also forced to suspend in-person learning as a result
A Long Island country club that hosted a ‘superspreader’ wedding event linked to more than 30 COVID cases and forced more than 150 people into quarantine has lost its liquor license.
New York State health officials on Monday announced they have acted against North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, Suffolk County, for ‘flagrantly’ violating pandemic-related restrictions.
The wedding held on October 17 was attended by 113 guests – more than double the 50-person limit on non-essential gatherings.
Since then, at least 34 people, including 30 wedding guests, three country club employees and an outside vendor, have tested positive for COVID-19, Suffolk County Health officials said.
At least 34 virus cases have been linked to a wedding at North Fork Country Club (pictured) in Cutchogue on October 17
Superspreader event: 113 people attended the wedding, exceeding the state’s 50-person limit on gatherings. Pictured: Stock image of the venue
The outbreak also resulted in the exposure of members of the wider community, sending 159 people into a two-week quarantine and forcing several schools to suspend in-person learning.
Officials did not specify which schools were affected however, five positive cases linked to the event have been found at Gelinas Junior High School, Mattituck Junior-Senior High School, Hampton Bays High School, Northport Senior High School and Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School, according to the NY Post.
The move comes following an investigation by health officials who then referred the case to the New York State Liquor Authority last month.
The NYSLA Friday charged the venue ‘multiple counts of failure to comply with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders’ and ‘failure to exercise adequate supervision of their premises.’
‘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. Hosting one of these events after all New York has been through is obnoxious and irresponsible – not to mention illegal,’ Governor Cuomo said.
‘We are eight months into this pandemic and simply will not tolerate businesses that put New Yorkers at risk. Those who continue to ignore the rules will lose their ability to serve alcohol, and I thank Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and his team for their cooperation in holding these bad actors accountable.’
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (pictured) last month announced the venue had been fined $17,000. He warned officials will be cracking down on homeowners who host large gatherings at their home
The venue now faces up to $30,000 in fines.
The surge in cases last month also been traced back to a second ‘superspreader’ event held on the same day, when 50 people gathered together for a birthday party in Bellport.
Despite being in compliance with gathering restrictions, 26 party guests have since tested positive for the virus, sending 132 people into quarantine.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the outbreak at the gathering was likely due to a lack of social distancing.
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.
Authorities have warned of strict penalties for anyone caught violating health restrictions, including homeowners or residents found hosting large gatherings at their home.
In Farmingville, homeowner Kim Catalanotto was issued a $2,500 fine after 200 to 300 people attended a party at her house last month, officials said.
Two weeks earlier, the Miller Place Inn was hit with a $12,000 fine after hosting a 80-guest Sweet 16 party that was linked to 37 cases.
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week warned against both large and small gatherings, which he said are now both causes for concern.