News & Opinion | October 15, 2020 11:41 am

A Sweet 16 Party in New York Has Resulted in 37 COVID-19 Cases

That's what happens when you put 81 maskless people in a room together

birthday cake
A sweet sixteen birthday party in New York has become a superspreader event. (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStoc

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, people across the nation have had to drastically scale back some major celebrations or forego them entirely. Some have gotten creative with Zoom weddings and outdoor, socially distanced birthday gatherings, but unfortunately others are still disregarding the safety of others so they can hold their dumb parties: as NBC reports, a venue in Long Island, N.Y. faces $12,000 in fines after a Sweet 16 party became a super-spreader event.

The party was held at the Miller Place Inn, about 65 miles east of Manhattan, on Sept. 25, and a whopping 81 people were in attendance. That is, of course, a violation of the emergency state health codes that limit gatherings to 50 people or 50 percent of room capacity, whichever is smaller. As a result, 37 people linked to the event — 28 teens and nine adults — have since tested positive for COVID-19.

“In Suffolk County, we have not seen an event like this before, at any time through this pandemic,” Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said. “For Suffolk County, this was a super-spreader event.”

Attendees were also reportedly maskless and did not adhere to social distancing guidelines at the event. The Miller Place Inn now faces $10,000 in fines from the state and another $2,000 in fines from the county.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also weighed in on the party: “They had a Sweet 16 party. How sweet. Yeah, it wasn’t that sweet,” he said. “Dozens of people from the Sweet 16 party got sick. It just shows you how one event can generate so many cases. But he [Bellone] took enforcement action, so good for him.”

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