Suffolk police will look to break up super-spreader events on Halloween

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Suffolk County police will be out in full force this Halloween to ensure everyone is adhering to coronavirus guidelines.

Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron says officers will be patrolling and reminding people to stay socially distant.

“I truly hope that our department can be Casper the friendly ghost and not a threatening scary ghost,” he told reporters on Friday.

It’s called “Operation Ghost.”

Cameron says officers will be checking restaurants and other establishments all Halloween to make sure they are following capacity guidelines.
They will also be looking to break up house parties that exceed 50 people.

The police chief warns that people who host large parties can face hefty fines. Suffolk County has already leveled several fines to homeowners and venue managers for hosting large gatherings.

“We have recently seen a few super-spreader events where people have not obeyed the rules and we've seen severe consequences and really, all it takes is one individual at an event like that, that has the virus to start a very, very serious chain of infection that can have grave consequences,” Cameron said.

As for trick-or-treaters, police officers won’t bother to hand out fines, but they will remind people to wear their masks and stay socially distance from other groups.

Health officials say anyone handing out candy this year should place individually packaged candy bags out on a frequently sanitized surface for children to take.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says he wants to make sure everyone has a fun, but safe holiday.

“If there are other families or if their crowds at a door, go to the next door. You can always add that one on the way back. Keeping social distancing in mind that's important,” he said.