Officials fear for a COVID-19 outbreak in the region after many attended a party hosted by someone who was sick and knew it. Many party-goers are also allegedly refusing to work with contact tracers.

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A party was held around June 17 in Rockland County by a host who was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Rockland County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said on Wednesday during a press conference.

Dozens of people in their 20s attended the party who reportedly also have gone to other parties in the region. Since the party, the host and at least eight others have tested positive for coronavirus, officials say.

Ruppert also says partygoers who tested positive for the repository illness are refusing to cooperate with contact tracers.

"They hang up. They deny being at the party even though we have found their names from another attendee or a parent provides us with the information. Many do not answer their cellphone and do not call back," Ruppert said.

Ruppert also says some parents are answering for their "adult children" and cover for them.

"This must stop," she said.

Rockland County officials are now sending subpoenas to the people who "are required to cooperate." Those who don't comply will face daily fines of up to $2,000 per day, Ruppert said.

"I will say now to anyone and everyone impeding this investigation,  I don't care who you are, who you know, how much money you make, where you live," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said during the press conference. "I will not allow the health of our county to be compromised because of ignorance, stupidity, or obstinance."

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