Miller Place Inn Fined After ‘Super-spreader’ Sweet 16 Sickens 37 With COVID-19

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Suffolk County officials fined the Miller Place Inn for allegedly violating social distancing orders meant to curb the spread of coronavirus after 37 people who attended an over-capacity sweet 16 there were diagnosed with COVID-19.

County Department of Health Services investigators found that the 37 cases were among 81 people who attended the party at the venue on Sept. 25 despite the fact that gatherings are limited to 50 due to the pandemic, officials said.

“This was a super-spreader event,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters Tuesday during a news conference. “This cluster should serve as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of violating COVID-19 codes.”

Suffolk’s efforts to contain the outbreak comes as parts of the Five Towns are in Nassau are included in New York State’s Cluster Action Initiative aimed at tamping down virus hot spots with above-average infection rates.

Suffolk fined the catering hall $10,000 on Saturday for allegedly violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders prohibiting gatherings of larger than 50 people or 50 percent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is less. It also fined the venue $2,000 for violating the county’s sanitary code.

The county contacted the hosts of the event to obtain a copy of the guest list, which was provided voluntarily, officials said. The department quarantined the entire guest list, which included 49 students and 32 adults, and entered the contact information into the county’s contact tracing system. Of the 37 positive cases investigators identified, 29 were people who attended the party, seven were household contacts, and one was a close contact of an attendee. 

To date health officials have identified 334 contacts, 151 who were non-school affiliated and 183 who were school affiliated. Of those, 270 contact are under quarantine and 11 cases are in active isolation. Some have already completed their quarantine.

Eight schools have reported positive cases in connection to the party and 35 schools have at least one student who has been affected by the event, while one school has had as many as 74 students impacted. 

None of the cases resulted in hospitalizations or death and the outbreak appears to have been contained.

“There is no community spread at this time,” Bellone added.

Representatives for the Miller Place Inn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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