Cape Cod residents petitioning to close bridges in effort to keep out-of-staters away during coronavirus outbreak

BOURNE, MASS. (WHDH) - Cape Cod residents are signing a petition to close the Bourne and Sagamore bridges in an effort to keep out-of-staters away during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

change.org petition started by Cape resident Beth Hickman had nearly 8,000 signatures as of late Tuesday afternoon.

“Stop the spread of COVID-19. Close the bridges,” the petition read. “Only year-round residents, medical personnel, and trucks that deliver essential supplies.”

Hickman told 7NEWS that she has seen an influx in out-of-state license plates on Cape Cod in recent days.

“When we go to like the grocery store or anything, all you see is Connecticut plates, New York plates,” Hickman explained. “There’s been a huge influx. Even in my neighborhood, I have New York residents here already when they’re usually not here until the end of June.”

Hickman, along with local officials, is worried that the influx of early visitors could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases on the Cape.

“We only have two small hospitals here on the Cape itself. They just can’t handle it right now. They don’t have the staff and they don’t have the means,” Hickman said. “People coming over here to be at there summer houses is something that a lot of people feel is selfish.”

Not everyone is on board with the petition. In an email to 7NEWS, one Cape Cod homeowner said, “Let’s remember that there are approximately 222,000 year-round residents on the Cape. This petition and its signatures do not speak for all of us.”

Those who traveled to the Cape from other states have been instructed to self-quarantine for two weeks but Hickman says that has not been the case.

“They’re not staying home. They’re going out to the beaches,” Hickman said. “Monitor these people and make sure they’re not going out.”

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