CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. - Officials are warning visitors to stay away from the Jersey Shore as they work to mitigate the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of staying put at their primary homes as advised by government officials, people are heading to their shore homes as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Cape May County officials say the influx of visitors during this time is causing a strain on the community and could cause problems for the medical system.
So far, Cape May County only has one case of the coronavirus disease, but officials are concerned that positive cases could increase as witnessed in other counties regionally and nationally.
The county’s Freehold Director, Gerald Thornton, joined Good Day Philadelphia to discuss how the Cape May County community is dealing with an increased population amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
So far, New Jersey has the most cases in the tri-state area with at least 742 confirmed cases so far, which is sparking serious concerns.
While Thornton asserts that Cape May County officials aren't telling second homeowners and other property owners that they can't come, they are however advising that people take precautions and be responsible.
With only one hospital in the entire county, resources are extremely limited if people are visiting and coming in from other places.
"We're getting crushed here. Our food stores don't have the staff or the inventory to handle it," Thorton told FOX 29.
Cape May County has a large population of elderly people, which health officials say are one of the most vulnerable groups in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Twenty-five percent of our population is 65 years and above," Thornton stated. "And that's a very vulnerable population and we have to protect them."
Again, Cape May County officials aren't banning anybody but they are urging that anybody intending to visit should be responsible.
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