New York State officials suspended the North Fork Country Club’s liquor license after the Cutchogue catering venue hosted a 113-guest wedding that led to at least 34 COVID-19 infections.
The wedding, held on Oct. 17, violated the state’s 50-person limit on social gatherings and led to 30 guests, three country club staff members, and one wedding vendor contracting the virus. As a result, 159 people needed to quarantine and several schools in the area temporarily closed for in-person learning.
“As we have seen in weddings and similar events across the country during this pandemic, large gatherings can easily be superspreader events, too often with dire consequences,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Hosting one of these events after all New York has been through is obnoxious and irresponsible, not to mention illegal.”
The state previously suspended the liquor licenses of catering halls in Great Neck and East Patchogue as well as the Miller Place Inn, which was cited for hosting a sweet 16 officials also termed a superspreader event.
The Suffolk County Department of Health conducted the investigation tracing the COVID-19 cases back to the wedding at the country club, and then contacted the State Liquor Authority.
“By now, every licensee should be well aware of the protocols in place to stop the spread and should know that an event like this is unacceptable,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradle. “We are still in the midst of a public health crisis, and the SLA will continue to hold those who ignore these lifesaving rules accountable.”
The SLA has charged North Fork Country Club with multiple counts of noncompliance with the governor’s executive orders on COVID-19 restrictions, as well as failure to supervise its events adequately, state officials said.
“This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
North Fork Country Club could not yet be reached for comment.
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