• March 31, 2020

Freeholder director: Don’t visit county - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Freeholder director: Don’t visit county

He asks visitors, second-home owners to stay away for the time being

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:18 pm

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – In normal times, Cape May County Freeholder Gerald Thornton would encourage visitors to experience Cape May County.

These aren’t normal times.

On March 17, Thornton released a statement urging visitors to stay home during the next two weeks in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many people have come to the county to use their second homes or to stay with family at the shore while schools are closed throughout most of the country.

These additional visitors have put a strain on local supermarkets but could eventually burden the medical system in the county should a significant COVID-19  outbreal take place here.

“We love all of our visitors from Pennsylvania, north Jersey, New York and further away,” Thornton said. “But this is not the time to be visiting the shore as we try to focus resources needed during this pandemic to our residents.”

There have been reports of limited supplies at certain supermarkets and other stores, which is an issue nationwide but has been compounded locally by the number of visitors to Cape May County over the past weekend.

Cape May County only has one hospital in the county and Thornton said he wants to ensure its resources aren’t overtaxed if potentially sick people visit the county and cause a mass outbreak.

Based on Gov. Phil Murphy’s orders, restaurants are offering take-out service only or have completely closed. Movie theaters and many other gathering locations are closed.

“We are hoping that people act responsibly now so we can minimize the health impacts in a short period of time as possible,” Thornton said. “It would be best if people could stay in their full-time residence for now as we address this current outbreak.”

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