Bellone: Enforcement teams will make sure businesses comply with new COVID-19 restrictions

Suffolk County enforcement teams will be deployed after 10 p.m. tonight as new business restrictions enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo go into effect, County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Each of the six teams will consist of a representative of the fire marshal’s office and someone from consumer affairs.

Mr. Bellone also called for county residents to stay home as much as possible as a “long talked about possibility for a second [COVID-19] wave” appears to have arrived.

“It is critically important we redouble our efforts,” he said in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. “If we do that, we can continue to move our economy forward.”

Mr. Bellone said the county average eclipsed 300 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, up from 119 in the week prior. On Tuesday, the county reported 412 new cases, the most since May 1. On Friday, that number grew to 428 or 3.6% of those tested.

Mr. Bellone repeated his belief that residential gatherings on Halloween has led to the spike.

The new state restrictions will require all State Liquor Authority approved businesses to close to inside service at 10 p.m. Gyms and bowling alleys are also included in the order.

Restaurants will be allowed to continue curbside pickup and delivery service after 10 p.m.

In addition to the new enforcement teams, Mr. Bellone said the county now has 200 case investigators working in addition to the 1,000 state contact tracers working in Suffolk County.

The county executive said Thanksgiving will likely be the next challenge for the public and he said that if people limit activity there are two weeks to contain the spread of the virus before the holiday.

“If you can stay home with your family this weekend, please do so,” he said.