The New York State Liquor Authority has opened an investigation into an Oct. 17 wedding at North Fork Country Club that could cost the catering facility its ability to serve alcohol, an agency spokesperson has confirmed.
The news follows an announcement by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone that the club is facing $17,000 in fines after hosting the wedding with 91 guests, at least 30 of whom have since tested positive for COVID-19.
“Upon learning of this allegedly illegal and dangerous event, the SLA immediately opened an investigation and reached out to Suffolk County officials for details,” the agency said in a statement. “The SLA’s investigation into this matter is currently pending. We thank Suffolk county for their partnership and for enforcing the law.”
The liquor authority has been the primary way government officials have enforced violations of the public health code enacted by executive order of Governor Andrew Cuomo during the pandemic. For catering halls, events are limited to 50 guests with social distancing and mask protocols in place.
Mr. Bellone called the wedding a “superspreader event” at a press conference Wednesday.
“There’s really no excuse for it,” he said. “This is a clear blatant violation of the guidance … because of this one event and a business choosing to ignore the guidelines, you had lives upended and threatened public health and our economic recovery.”
He said he believes through contact tracing and the quarantining of more than 150 individuals the spread of the virus from this particular incident has been contained.
Thee Country Club confirmed last week than more than one of its employees has also been diagnosed with coronavirus. The county said a vendor also tested positive.