37 COVID-19 cases linked to Sweet 16 'superspreader event': Officials

October 14, 2020

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Thirty-seven people linked to a “Sweet 16” party held at a Long Island inn have tested positive for COVID-19, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Tuesday, calling the gathering a “superspreader event.”

    Miller Place Inn hosted a birthday party with 81 guests at the end of last month, in violation of the state’s COVID-19 executive orders, which limit non-essential gatherings to 50 or fewer people, Bellone said in a news briefing Tuesday afternoon.

    Since then, 28 students and nine adults who attended the Sweet 16 celebration have tested positive for COVID-19, he said. The students who tested positive attend eight different schools.

    “In Suffolk County, we have not seen an event like this before at any time throughout this pandemic,” Bellone said. “For Suffolk County, this was a superspreader event.”

    The cluster is now “under control” thanks to the county health department’s contact tracing efforts, but should “serve as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of violating COVID-19 rules and regulations,” he said.

    Following the party, the state slapped the inn with a $10,000 fine for violating its executive orders, and the county issued the venue a $2,000 fine for violating its sanitary code, he noted.

    Bellone urged Suffolk County residents to continue to follow COVID-19-related rules to avoid future outbreaks.

    “We’re not out of the woods yet, and we need everyone to remain vigilant,” he said. “We do not want clusters here.”

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