06:36 GMT25 October 2020
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    A recent birthday party in New York has been dubbed a “super-spreader” event by officials, as 37 people tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the event and hundreds were forced to quarantine.

    The “sweet 16” birthday party occurred on September 25 at the Miller Place Inn in Miller Place in Long Island, New York. The venue has since been slammed with more than $12,000 in fines, as 37 people who attended the event tested positive for COVID-19 and 81 have been forced to quarantine, reported ABC7. Officials said the number of guests exceeded the state maximum of 50, and not all of them wore masks.

    “This was an egregious violation and should serve as a stark reminder of the consequences that exist for flouting COVID-19 protocols,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in a statement released by the county on Tuesday. 

    “These rules and regulations exist for a reason - to keep New Yorkers safe - and we all have an obligation to act responsibly.”

    Bellone stated that the health department contacted the hosts of the event and asked for a copy of the guest list, which was provided voluntarily. “Once health officials received the list, which comprised 81 guests, including 49 students and 32 adults, the department quarantined the entire guest list and entered the contact information into the county’s contact tracing system,” the county statement detailed.

    The Miller Place Inn has been fined $10,000 for not adhering to New York executive orders regarding COVID-19 restrictions and an additional $2,000 for violating the Suffolk County Sanitary Code. The venue was also charged with operating a food establishment in an unsanitary condition.

    The penalties and charges related to the party come soon after the reporting of a number of COVID-19 cases throughout the Sachem School District to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services beginning on September 30, Bellone’s statement noted. The department’s contact tracing has linked those cases to the birthday party.

    Following the positive tests, 334 people associated with the event through contact tracing were required to quarantine, with 270 remaining under restrictions as of Tuesday.

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    United States, New York, Long Island, SARS coronavirus, coronavirus, COVID-19
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