FLUSHING — The Genesee County Health Department has confirmed that over a dozen COVID-19 cases have been linked to a wedding at the Flushing Valley Golf & Country Club.
According to the most recent report given by the health department, 17 guests who attended a wedding at the country club on Aug. 15 tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals who tested positive for the virus were instructed by the health department to self-isolate until Aug. 29—which was 14 days after the wedding, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
Members of the county health department’s communicable disease team have conducted contact tracing for the confirmed cases and are reaching out to attendees of the event to identify more potential cases.
Danielle Lederer, an epidemiologist with the Genesee County Health Department, said the outbreak appears to be linked to one or more guests who attended the wedding and did not originate at the club itself.
As stated by the health department, more than 100 people attended the wedding and indoor reception. However, management with the Flushing Valley Golf Club has said that there were only 88 people at the event, including club staff.
“Regardless of the number, whether it is 88 or 100, indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people or less,” said Lederer. “You also can’t have outdoor events larger than 100 people. We are recommending that people stay vigilant and avoid large gatherings.”
Following the health department’s report, the owners of the Flushing Valley Golf & Country Club said that proper precautions, sanitizing and testing were carried out prior to the wedding and will continue to resume at the club.
“It is unfortunate (that) COVID-19 case(s) came through our facility 12 days ago,” club owners said in a statement. “Safety is our number one priority (and) we sanitize the entire building. All our team members (staff) are safe and being tested even without symptoms. We will continue to follow proper protocol and keep everyone safe whenever you visit our golf facility.”
Angelo Arca, general manager of the Flushing Valley Golf & Country Club, said that the Aug. 15 wedding festivities took place outdoors on the patio and indoors at the club, with seating areas widely spaced inside. He also said that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s current executive order has been difficult for the club to adjust to because it limits indoor gatherings to just 10 people but allows 50 percent capacity for businesses and at least 100 people to gather outdoors for organized events.
“At normal business hours, we know we can have at least 50 percent capacity in the building, like when people are checking in at the clubhouse to golf or going upstairs to eat in the restaurant,” Arca said. “But the language of the state’s executive order is not very specific as it applies to organized events. Are we being guided by the outdoor limit or the 10-person (indoor) limit when it comes to holding an event like a wedding at the club? The (state) executive order needs to be more specific.”
Arca said that the club will now only be able to hold outdoor events until further notice, per orders from the Genesee County Health Department.
For more information and updates on Genesee County’s COVID-19 response, visit www.gchd.us/coronavirus or call 810-257-1017.