Crowd seen at site of planned 10,000-person New York wedding despite order to be scaled down

NEW YORK CITY -- People could be seen constantly entering and leaving a building on Monday night after state officials issued an order putting a halt to a planned 10,000-person wedding in Brooklyn.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said a decision was made by the people putting the wedding together to have a much smaller service and do the rest virtually.

Over the weekend, the Rockland County Sheriff's Office tipped off state authorities to the wedding, planned for Monday in Williamsburg, which would have taken place outside the state's cluster zones.

"We received a suggestion that that was happening," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "We did an investigation and found that it was likely true. There was a large wedding planned that would violate the gathering rules."

The synagogue's grand rabbi's grandson was set to be married at the temple on Rodney Street.

After the order was issued, the chuppah celebration and meal were scaled down and were only going to be attended by close family and friends, then there was going to be a receiving line, where organizers said they would have followed social distancing guidelines.

However, WABC-TV in New York saw more than 50 people heading in to and out of the building where the wedding was held on Monday. Many people could be seen inside without masks.

It was not clear if there were more than 50 people inside at any one time.

A crowd of more than 100 people could be seen outside, which is allowed. But when WABC-TV circled the block and came back, the crowd was mostly gone. It is unclear if they went inside the synagogue during that time.

Earlier in the night, the NYPD was on hand to verify compliance.

"We don't want to disrespect anybody, people are allowed to gather but within reason," NYPD Assistant Chief Judith Harrison said. "We want to make sure there are no large gatherings in excess of 50 people and we're just here to make sure that that happens."

Rabbis and elected leaders in the Ultra Orthodox Jewish community urged attendees to stay home.

"We need to do our part," said New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. "Wear a mask, get tested and to the maximum extent possible practice social distance."

Although this synagogue is not in the red zone, statewide gatherings are still limited to 50 people at the most.

The governor had threatened a fine if the event went on as planned while announcing a new way to target outbreaks, saying they will no longer look at shutdowns regionally or countywide, but instead block by block.

"We're going to watch the micro-cluster data," he said. "We can adjust what is in that cluster. We can make it a little bigger, we can make it a little smaller, we can relax some regulations, we can increase regulations. We'll do that all based on that data."

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker signed an order to halt the wedding that was served Friday night by the New York City Sheriff's Office.

Beth Garvey, Special Counsel and Senior Advisor to the governor, said they had not heard back from the individual to whom the order was served.

That person can request a hearing with Dr. Zucker.

"Look, you can get married," Cuomo said. "You just can't have 10,000 people at your wedding. You get the same result at the end of the day. It's also cheaper."
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