Sweet 16 party leaves 37 infected with COVID-19, nearly 300 quarantined, health officials say

A “sweet 16” birthday event held at a Long Island Venue left 37 people infected with COVID-19 while forcing hundreds to quarantine, according to state health officials. 

Health officials said in a news release that the Miller Place Inn was fined $12,000 for exceeding the state’s 50 person limit enforced in New York State to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“This was an egregious violation and should serve as a stark reminder of the consequences that exist for flouting COVID-19 protocols,” said Suffolk Country Executive Steve Bellone. “These rules and regulations exist for a reason - to keep New Yorkers safe - and we all have an obligation to act responsibly.”

Officials said the venue did not enforce state health restrictions while hosting a “sweet 16” birthday event on Sept. 25. The venue received additional fines for allegedly operating a food establishment in “an unsanitary condition.”

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services said they obtained a guest list which comprised of 81 individuals, including 49 students and 32 adults. 

Health officials said the entire guest list was quarantined and was entered into the county’s contract tracing system. 

A Digital Sign Directing Patients to a COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Site at Stony Brook University

A digital sign on Stony Brook Road in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island directs patients to the drive-thru coronavirus test site at Stony Brook University on March 28, 2020.

As of Oct. 13, 37 people contracted COVID-19, 29 of which attended the party. Seven positive cases were household contacts while one positive case was a close friend of a person who attended the birthday event. 

“At present, 270 contact are under quarantine and 11 cases are under active isolation. Several contacts have already completed their quarantine period, as their exposure dates back to more than 14 days,” health officials said. 

Miller Place Inn did not immediately respond for comment. Their “Diamond Sweet 16 Package” is currently still advertised on their website. 

“Your child’s Sweet Sixteen or Quinceañera is one the most important birthdays she will have in her life,” the inn wrote on its website. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.