What to Know
- Authorities busted two indoor warehouse parties in Sunset Park over the weekend, each with more than 100 guests partying in violation of New York's indoor gathering limits
- The parties come on the heels of an uptick in coronavirus cases in the neighborhood that has local health officials concerned
- The 228 positive cases out of 3,300 neighborhood residents tested in the last two weeks is a 6.9% positivity rate, compared to the citywide average of around 1%
Authorities busted two indoor warehouse parties in Brooklyn late Saturday night, each with more than 100 guests partying in violation of New York's indoor gathering limits.
A tip led deputy sheriffs to the first party in Sunset Park roughly 30 minutes after midnight, Sheriff Fucito said Sunday. The responding officials found over 180 people inside -- it was not clear if face coverings were used or social distancing was attempted.
Deputy sheriffs arrested and charged three people identified as promoters and organizers of the event. The three arrested were charged with distributing alcohol without a license, drug possession and violating indoor social distancing laws -- they were issued appearance tickets and released a short time later.
Less than two hours from the start of their bust, deputy sheriffs found a second indoor party around 2 a.m. Sunday just blocks away. The second, located on 51st Street, was smaller but still had at least 100 people partying inside.
One promoter was arrested and charged with similar offenses to the promoters of the first party..
In both cases, partygoers were disbanded and alcohol was confiscated by the officials.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the parties as "unacceptable" during his daily briefing Monday.
"Do not organize a large gathering that will put people’s lives in danger," he pleaded. "We all understand people are feeling cooped up and looking for things to do."
The parties come on the heels of a spike in coronavirus cases in Sunset Park.
Last week, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi said, "In two weeks in Sunset Park we have tested over 3,300 New Yorkers, while the data we have thus far is limited the early returns support our targeted approach and show that we are drawing in the people who will most benefit from those test services. This far we have identified 228 positive cases."
The 228 positive cases out of 3,300 neighborhood residents tested in the last two weeks is a 6.9% positivity rate, compared to the citywide average of around 1%.
The mayor called the slight uptick "a warning light" and because of this the city will start a campaign involving doorknocking, phone calls and other activities through local organizations to get the word out on testing in the Sunset Park neighborhood, which has roughly 38,000 households.
Additionally, Chokshi said that starting Monday the health department will extend its rapid point of care testing in this neighborhood at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
"We’ll look for additional brick and mortar options for testing sites and partner with local healthcare providers to maximize resources. That includes urgent care clinics….and we will be stepping up our outreach," he said. "We’ll carry out robocalls in the 11220 zip code, flyer, doorknock and canvas the area. The Sunset Park community is going to see even more of us in the days ahead….catching those sparks before they ignite will help us prevent a resurgence."
Due to the number of positive cases, two additional mobile testing sites, which can do 80 to 100 tests per day, will be brought to the neighborhood.
The new mobile testing units in Sunset Park will be located at:
- Corner of 44th Street and 6th Avenue: from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Aug. 11 - Aug. 15 and Aug. 17 to Aug. 21.
- Brooklyn Herald Gospel Center, 809 44th Street: from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.