County executive: Long Island venue fined following Sweet 16 party that led to 37 COVID-19 cases
Suffolk County issued a notice of formal violation to the Miller Place Inn after dozens of COVID-19 cases came as a result of a Sweet 16 party that was held at the venue, Executive Steve Bellone says.
Bellone says the Miller Place Inn has received a $10,000 fine for violations of state executive orders and a $2,000 fine for violation of county sanitation code.
Bellone says concern began to be raised after a positive COVID-19 case was reported within the Sachem Central School District on Sept. 30. The case was determined to have stemmed from the Sept. 25 party, and a contact tracing effort was put into action.
As part of the effort, the party's host supplied a guest list of 81 people. The entire group was quarantined and soon after, 37 positive COVID-19 cases were identified -- 28 children and nine adults, according to the county.
As a result of contacts from those cases, nearly 300 people were placed under quarantine and eight schools had positive COVID-19 cases, Bellone says.
"There is no precise definition of what a super-spreader event is -- but in Suffolk County we have not seen an event like this before," says Bellone.
Local officials' findings come after Sachem North High School had to shut its door for two weeks after a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Bellone says this was the first time Suffolk County has taken COVID-19 enforcement action against a business. He says the situation is under control and did not lead to any community spread.
State executive orders limit all nonessential gatherings to 50 or fewer people or 50% capacity, whichever is less.
The Miller Place Inn's general manager says he feels terrible about the COVID-19 cases that stemmed from the party, and claims he was unaware that he was only allowed to have 50 people inside, thinking they could operate at 50%.
He says he has closed the establishment and will not reopen until they can operate at 50% capacity.
The county executive says the cluster should serve as a reminder of consequences of violating rules.