Cease and Desist Issued To Hudson Valley Religious Institution
A cease and desist was issued after "concerning" photos posted to social media claim "thousands" gathered in the Hudson Valley without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
Satmar Headquarters posted photos on Twitter that claim "thousands" attended a "peaceful pray demonstration" in Orange County. The large group of people gathered at a synagogue in Kiryas Joel Sunday morning, according to the tweet.
"Thousands of people attended This mornings 1st day of “Peaceful #Slichos prayer demonstration” with Satmar Grand Rebbe Aron in the main Shul of the Town of Palm treePalm Tree Palm treein Kiryas Joel, the newly constructed wing with additional space for hundreds of seats was inaugurated today," Satmar Headquarters wrote in the tweet.
The photos, which you can see below, appear to show hundreds, or thousands as the post claims, gathered without masks or following New York State's social distancing rules.
“Plainly, this is very concerning. The Health Department will discuss this with the New York State Police, the primary law enforcement agency for Kiryas Joel and any other municipality without their own police force. We have worked with the State Police multiple times during the COVID-19 pandemic when incidents such as this have occurred.” Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman told Hudson Valley Post.
Thursday morning a spokesperson from the Orange County Department of Health told Hudson Valley Post the health department could "opt to serve the facility with a cease and desist order."
Later, a cease and desist order was sent to Satmar Shul in Kiryas Joel.
"It has come to our attention that your Congregation is operating without maintaining appropriate social distancing or the wearing of face coverings in violation of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Orders and is operating in a way which endangers those inside the Congregation and those they come in contact with," Orange Couth Commissioner of Health Irina Gelman said in the cease and desist, sent to Hudson Valley Post. "The Orange County Health Department has received reports of a mass gathering within the premises. You and all Congregants are directed to take any steps necessary to ensure that no more than 50% of the posted limit for the location, including maximum posted limits in any given room is not exceeded. You and all Congregants are directed and Ordered to take steps to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order 202.17 as amended from time to time with respect to wearing of face coverings."
The cease and desist order also states criminal charges will be filed if the order isn't followed.
After the cease and desist was given Kiryas Joel Office of Emergency Management sent out an alert in Yiddish about COVID-19 and asking others to take precautions, according to The Yeshiva World.