LI wedding, birthday party linked to 56 COVID-19 cases; country club faces $17K fine

North Fork Country Club
Photo credit Google Maps

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Long Island country club that hosted a wedding with more than 90 guests — 30 of whom have since tested positive for COVID-19 — faces $17,000 in fines for violating state and local rules, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Wednesday.

The North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue hosted a wedding with 91 guests on Oct. 17, Bellone said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Thirty guests contracted COVID-19 after the ceremony, and 159 people who came into contact with those guests were forced to quarantine, he said.

The county’s health department has recommended a $15,000 fine for the club's violation of the state’s COVID-19 executive orders, he said. The venue also faces a $2,000 fine for violating the county’s sanitary code.

“This type of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” Bellone said. “If you violate the rules, you'll be caught and held responsible.”

1010 WINS has reached out to the North Fork Country Club for comment on the fines.

The country club wedding wasn’t the only recent “superspreader event” in Suffolk County, Bellone noted. On the same day the wedding took place, a Bellport resident hosted a birthday party with around 50 guests, he said.

Twenty-six of those partygoers have since tested positive for COVID-19, he said.

While the party didn’t violate COVID-19-related orders, as the state's current rules limit non-essential gatherings to 50 people, it served as a “perfect example of how quickly this virus can spread,” he said.

The county also plans to issue a $2,500 fine to a Farmingville resident who hosted a house party with 200 to 300 guests this past Saturday, most of whom were minors, Bellone said.

The host, who was serving alcohol to guests under the age of 21, will be the first Suffolk County resident to receive a fine for violating the state’s COVID-19 executive orders, he noted.

Suffolk County reported 169 new positive COVID-19 test results on Tuesday, data from the state’s health department shows. Long Island as a whole reported a 1.9 percent infection rate on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a release.

“We’ve been through too much, we’ve experienced too much pain, anxiety, harm... and yet through all that we have come incredibly far,” Bellone said. “And this, this kind of activity is what threatens to bring us back.”