NORTHBROOK, Ill. - A suburban hotel is apologizing after it was caught hosting a giant wedding, despite COVID-19 protocols.
Cook County health officials are now trying to track down the partygoers.
The bride and groom walked out of the Northbrook Hilton Wednesday night, ending the wedding bash, but starting a major public health investigation.
“People weren’t wearing masks. They were crowded together, the risk for transmission and making this a super spreader event is probably significant,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin of Cook County Public Health.
Eyewitnesses estimate between 200 and 300 people were jammed together in a hotel ballroom, eating and dancing, with most not wearing masks.
Now, the Cook County Health department is threatening to slap the hotel with fines and violations. They also want a list of everyone who attended.
“They need to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Everybody who was at that wedding. Everybody who served at that wedding, everybody who planned that wedding, everyone who was there at that hotel,” said Dr. Rubin.
Many of the guests' cars had plates from all over the country, including Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Texas. Now, Gov. Pritzker is angry and worried they may be carrying COVID-19 back home.
“It’s very irresponsible and it’s also irresponsible of the hotel to host an event like that. They too have breached the rules and they should be held responsible,” said Pritzker.
In a statement, the Northbrook Hilton, which is locally owned and not operated by the Hilton corporation, says “the wedding was booked prior to the state’s latest mitigation efforts,” but sincerely “regret allowing this gathering to proceed, and our family apologizes to our guests, employees and the Chicagoland community.”