coronavirus pandemic

NY Health Officials Order Shutdown of 10,000 Person Wedding in Brooklyn

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Health officials in New York delivered a ban days before a scheduled wedding after receiving reports that "upwards of 10,000 individuals" were scheduled to attend the ceremony in Brooklyn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

At his briefing Saturday, the governor explained that state officials received word of a the wedding after the Rockland County Sheriff's Office issued a warning against attending an event in clear violation of gathering limits.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Ducker signed a Section 16 order prohibiting the mass gathering at a Hasidic synagogue in Williamsburg on Monday. The order was served Friday evening by the New York City Sheriff's Department, officials said.

Although the location of the wedding was projected to be held outside of the red, orange and yellow COVID cluster zones under careful watch by city and state officials, the projected size of the event triggered action from state officials in accordance with current gathering limits.

"We received a suggestion that that was happening. We did an investigation and found that it was likely true," Cuomo said.

The state had not heard back from the parties served the shutdown order but they have the opportunity to request a hearing with Zucker, Beth Garvey, special counsel to the governor, said.

Leaders of the synagogue said COVID safety restrictions had been considered during the planning of the ceremony. In a statement released late Saturday, they said that the majority of attendees had been expected to participate "for a short period of time" and "in accordance with the social distancing regulations."

After the shutdown order and widespread attention was brought to the event, organizers say outside guests will no longer be permitted to attend and the event will be attended by close family only.

Tensions have escalated in the past week in Brooklyn between residents living in neighborhood clusters and city and state officials.

Lawsuits filed against the state accuse Gov. Cuomo of "anti-Semitic discrimination" after the recent crackdown on religious gatherings within cluster zones. The lawsuit filed in federal court this week accused the governor of making negative, false, and discriminatory statements about the Jewish Orthodox community as he imposed new coronavirus measures to counter the state’s rising infection rate in so-called “red zone” areas.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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