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County executives ask for voluntary compliance with COVID-19 guidelines ahead of Thanksgiving

Bellone zeroed in on the day before Thanksgiving as a possible threat for super-spreader events, saying that it a popular day for high school or college students to attend gatherings.

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2020, 3:33 AM

Updated 1,311 days ago

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau Executive Laura Curran asked county residents to voluntarily comply with COVID-19 guidelines days ahead of Thanksgiving and the popular party days that surround it.
Bellone zeroed in on the day before Thanksgiving as a possible threat for super-spreader events, saying that it's a popular day for high school or college students to attend gatherings.
He added that with bars closing at 10 p.m. under state orders, he's worried that people would be more tempted to gather indoors.
Bellone announced a partnership between the Suffolk Department of Health and nonprofit Partners in Prevention in order to launch a social media campaign on social host laws and the 10-person gathering limit.
Bellone said police won't be going door to door but that they will check in if things are reported. They do say that more police will be out on patrol.
"That's the responsibility of the homeowner not to allow that to happen, to host a party and allow underage drinking," says Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron.
Bellone says people can be fined for allowing underage drinking at their home, as well as for violating the gathering limits.
The county executive issued the call as he said they were expecting COVID-19 cases in Suffolk to be around 400, with a positivity rate above 3% - though Bellone said numbers weren't official yet. He also said hospitalizations were approaching 100, a figure that hasn't been in triple digits since June 18, according to Bellone.
Curran also urged caution, saying college and high school students will be home for the holiday and may be tempted to host or attend house parties.
"What happens over Thanksgiving and that entire weekend will really dictate what happens on Christmas and Hanukkah, if our rates continue to go up, the restrictions I'm afraid will come back to some extent," says Curran.


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