NJ officials urge: Don’t flock to your shore houses to avoid coronavirus

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CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey officials say people who own second houses down the shore are seeking shelter there amid the coronavirus crisis, but they’re urging homeowners to refrain from doing so for at least the next two weeks.

Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton said in a press release that given this is the off-season, a lot of the things needed to deal with the current surge of visitors are just not available right now.            

Other officials echoed that sentiment.        

“We all understand that this is a bad situation,” Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron said, “and we’re not looking to put anybody in any kind of a danger.”

And given restrictions imposed by the state, there’s just not a lot of businesses open right now either.

“Everything is closed,” Byron added. “The bars and restaurants are closed. It’s off-season on our boardwalk.”

Although the boardwalk is open, Byron said the city is considering shutting it down in the name of public safety.           

At this point, Cape May County does not have a reported positive case of COVID-19, and officials hope this advisory will keep it that way. 

Neighboring Atlantic County reported its first positive case on Wednesday: a man in his 60s, who is confining himself at home for at least two weeks.

Cape May County’s request for vacation homeowners to avoid beach towns is not an order. Those who own homes can occupy them, but if people opt to head down the shore, officials urge them to be proactive and take the same protective measures that are mandated by the state of New Jersey. ​