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NY Closes Hasidic Wedding That May Have 10,000 Visitors



New York State health officials have taken extraordinary steps to shut down an ultra-Orthodox wedding plan for Monday that could bring up to 10,000 guests to Brooklyn, near one of the coronavirus hotspots. New York City.

The state health commissioner personally intervened for sheriff’s representatives to deliver the Hasidic synagogue order on Friday, warning that it should follow health protocols, including limiting gatherings to less than 50 people .

On Sunday, the synagogue, Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, accused state officials of “unworthy of an attack” on marriage, in which a grandson of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, the rabbi of synagogue, will be married. The congregation said the ceremony and food would be restricted to “close family members,”

; while the public was invited to participate only “for a short time.”

The marriage will continue, the synagogue said, but will be limited to a small group of family members. “It is unfortunate that our plans did not materialize before we were attacked,” said Chaim Jacobowitz, the congregation secretary.

The state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, has taken the rare step of personally issuing what is known as a Section 16 order, which could carry a daily fine of $ 10,000 if violated. The state issued dozens of Section 16 orders during the pandemic.

Dr. moved quickly. Zucker in issuing it due to concerns that the state’s normal first course of action, which involves stopping and stopping a letter and a hearing, is too late to prevent a big marriage, according to a familiar in state gesture. State officials received a wedding invitation last week and confirmed that some guests will be traveling from hot spots within the state.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday that a large wedding is too risky and could result in a so-called supers spreading event. State officials said they were determining the wedding, which was scheduled to take place in Williamsburg, could have up to 10,000 people in attendance.

“My suggestion: Have a little wedding this year,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference on Sunday. “Next year, have a big wedding. Invite me and I will come. ”

The stage highlighted the tension between the governor and the Hasidic community as state health officials try to control the increase in coronavirus cases in some neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens and in province north of New York City.

Some Orthodox voices, including a growing group of cruel young men, accused the government of targeting them because of their faith and religious life. Earlier this month, the governor ordered new shutdown restrictions in areas where spike cases have occurred.

Orthodox Jewish leaders have announced a major community prayer scheduled for Tuesday in response to the closure of the marriage and wider restrictions. The event, which will take place over the phone, was not a protest, officials said.

Mr. Cuomo said Sunday that the state’s efforts to control the outbreaks were successfully reducing the rate of positive in targeted neighborhoods, which he divided into zones. As of Saturday, the state’s overall infection rate was 1.08 percent, the governor said, lower than other states. But the rate is 3.19 percent in areas with the highest rates of infection, or “red zones,” which include neighborhoods near Williamsburg. The synagogue itself was not located in a warm place.

“We are aggressive whenever we see the virus pop up – we run and hit it,” the governor said of the state’s strategy for controlling the explosions. “Tiresome but effective.”

A number of factors – including a lack of confidence in the messaging of scientific and secular authority, a dedication to communal life and dense living conditions – fueled the rise in the ultra-Orthodox community within the city.

While New York State has one of the lowest rates of new cases, health officials are concerned about another increase in the colder months, if people stay more indoors and more the virus can easily spread to confined spaces. Mr. Cuomo said Sunday that even small events, such as a Sweet 16 party held on Long Island last month, could provoke an infectious outbreak.

The birthday party had more than 80 guests – more than a maximum of 50 people – and led to at least 37 cases and many more people forced quarantine.

At a similar stage, the New York City Sheriff’s Office said early Sunday morning, representatives broke into an illegal party of more than 215 people in a banquet hall in the Ozone Park area of ​​Queens. Attendees were dancing and not socially distant or wearing masks, authorities said.

Officials on Sunday announced seven more deaths associated with the nationwide coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 26,440 people.

“We had the worst problem in the world at one point,” Mr. Cuomo said. “The numbers are moving in the right direction.”

Liam Stack contributed reporting.


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