Officials ask people not to visit Jersey shore amid coronavirus concerns

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Many stuck at home due opt to head to the shore
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Many people stuck at home due to the coronavirus decided to head to the Jersey shore, but their decision was met with mixed reaction.

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- In Ocean City, New Jersey, plenty of people walked the boards and some sat by the ocean on Tuesday. But Cape May County officials are telling people to stay home.

"I would imagine that they don't want to overload the system down here. That's my guess," said Celeste Wisniewski from Edison.

Her guess is right.

Cape May County Freeholder Jerry Thornton said almost half of the homes in the county are summer homes.

"We plan and prepare to deal with that influx during our tourist season. Now, that all the children are out of school, we're seeing a lot of people coming down here like it's vacation time," said Thornton.

The fear is that hospitals could become overloaded and supplies would run low if the virus spreads.

"The most important thing that concerns us is the infection rate. We have a population 60 years old and above, it's more than 25% of the county of Cape May," said Thornton.

Gary Dietrich, who has a summer home in Atlantic County, headed to Acme to pick up a few things.

"It's just easier for me to work here. We're working remotely now from our office," said Dietrich, from Plymouth Township, Pa.

But Gary said he came down for another reason, distance.

"I feel like I need to keep a distance from other people now because I'm from Montgomery County in Pennsylvania," he said.

Officials ask if you do own a home at the shore and decide to come down, please stay inside.

Action News spoke with Brigantine's Mayor through FaceTime Tuesday from his home.

"I don't think anybody should be out right now bringing the virus someplace else. I think they should be home like I am right now. I'm at my house," said Simpson.

Mayor Simpson was supposed to have a kidney transplant Tuesday, but he says the surgery was rescheduled because of coronavirus concerns.