An upcoming wedding in a Hasidic community in New York City’s Williamsburg neighborhood has authorities worried that it could become a superspreader event.
The state and sheriff’s department of New York issued an order regarding the nuptials, set to take place Monday, which was originally expected to attract 10,000 people.
According to The New York Post, a grandchild of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, grand rabbi of the Satmar sect, is expected to wed this Monday.
The state’s order, which was served Friday evening to Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, requires the Williamsburg wedding to be canceled or postponed. Otherwise, the event must be limited to only 50 people amid COVID concerns, which is the mandated limit throughout New York.
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“We received a suggestion that that was happening, did an investigation, found that it was likely that it was true. There was a large wedding planned that would violate the gathering rules,” Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference, as per Times of Israel.
“You can get married. You just can’t get a thousand people at your wedding. You get the same results at the end of the day. It’s also cheaper!” he added.
Despite the fact that the wedding venues are not in any of the coronavirus mini-cluster zones, state and city officials are still concerned about the event’s superspreader potential. The ceremony is expected to take place indoors, but people may congregate outside the venue.
“It was outside of the target red or orange or yellow cluster zone, but the information that our investigation revealed was that upwards of 10,000 individuals were planning to attend,” Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to the governor revealed via CBS New York.
“City Hall is in discussions with the state on issuing the proper guidance. Large gatherings without social distancing and masks are severe public health risks and all guidance will be enforced. We are looking for community cooperation and hope to see all public health guidelines followed,” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt said.
CBS New York reported that the gathering has potential to spike coronavirus cases, and New York City hopes to avoid what happened outside of New York City in New Square, Rockland County. Last Sunday, many Orthodox Jews gathered, reportedly ignoring social distancing guidelines and mask-wearing.
Cuomo said that there was a spike in cases in Rockland County red zones days after the gathering. On Thursday, there was an 11.26 percent positivity rate in coronavirus testing, up almost three percent from the day before.
“Some of the complexity of the enforcement here, especially with members of the Orthodox community, they never comply with the rules,” the governor said at the time.
Additionally, in Brooklyn red zones, the positivity rate from coronavirus testing on Thursday was 5.47 percent.
Newsweek reached out to the governor’s office for additional comment Sunday morning.
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