A Long Island country club was fined $17,000 for hosting a wedding where 30 guests contracted Covid-19

Suffolk County, New York, is fining a country club $17,000 for hosting a wedding that resulted in 30 guests testing positive for Covid-19. By Scottie Andrew, CNN

(CNN) -- Officials in one New York county have fined a Long Island country club $17,000 for hosting a wedding in which a third of guests later tested positive for Covid-19.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the county would fine North Fork Country Club for violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order that limits nonessential gatherings to 50 attendees.

At least 90 people attended the October 17 wedding, Bellone said Wednesday at a news conference. Thirty of those guests have since tested positive for coronavirus, and 159 of those guests' close contacts have been told to quarantine.

The country club was fined an additional $2,000 for violating the county's sanitary code, Bellone said, though he didn't specify which aspect of the code the country club defied.

North Fork Country Club did not return CNN's requests for comment.

The county also fined a resident $2,500 for hosting a large house party attended by 200 to 300 people, mostly minors, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. The unnamed resident was charged with criminal nuisance in the second degree for hosting the party and given an appearance ticket for allowing minors to consume alcohol on the property.

The event, which occurred last week, hasn't been connected to any Covid-19 cases, but Bellone said the health department will begin a contact tracing investigation if positive cases do turn up.

"This type of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing -- it will not be tolerated," the country executive said. "We have literally come too far here."

Another party saw 26 new Covid-19 cases

Bellone urged Suffolk County residents, a few days ahead of Halloween, to be mindful of attending events, even ones that don't technically violate Cuomo's executive order.

Another party hosted in the county on the same day as the wedding didn't violate Cuomo's executive order limiting event attendance, but 26 of the 50 people who attended have since tested positive for Covid-19, Bellone said. One hundred and thirty-two of the guests' contacts have been told to quarantine.

Between the two events, 56 people tested positive for Covid-19 and over 300 people have been told to quarantine as a result, he said.

Suffolk County was hard hit by coronavirus in spring and summer

Nearly 50,000 people in Suffolk County have tested positive for Covid-19 since March, according to the county's coronavirus case dashboard. Over 2,000 people have died in the county, and at one point in the spring, the county's morgue and overflow morgues, nearing capacity, relied on refrigerated buildings to house bodies.

In April, the county recorded over 1,000 new cases every day for several days, though eventually new cases dwindled to under 100 every day for most of the summer, county health data shows. To combat the surge, New York strictly limited businesses, schools and public activities for most of the summer and gradually began reopening due to a significant downturn in new cases.

But now, with the surge in potential superspreader events like the wedding, birthday party and house party, Suffolk County officials fear that the area could again see a surge in cases.

"While I understand people's frustration with the situation that we are all in, we have come this far because we've worked together," Bellone said at the conference Wednesday. "And these types of events can undermine and undo all that good work."

Earlier this month, the county fined a Long Island inn for hosting a Sweet 16 birthday party with 81 guests, 29 of whom tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 270 people connected to the event were told to quarantine, the Suffolk County Health Department reported.

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