Tensions are mounting in small towns where wealthy New York City residents have fled to escape the corona virus hotspot, while locals complain of looted supermarkets and overcrowded hospitals trying to stop the influx of outsiders.
As the NYC death toll reached 1,096 on Tuesday evening, so-called ‘coronavirus refugees’ continued to arrive at vacation destinations in the Northeast, including the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, and Martha’s Vineyard.
The ‘coronavirus refugees’ have left the Big Apple in large numbers and have picked up rental properties in quiet communities where the threat of contracting the deadly bug is significantly lower.
Some cities are starting to fight back saying they will not be the personal isolation unit for those seeking refuge in metropolitan areas as residents fear year-round that the influx of visitors will spread the virus and dry up local resources .
Local leaders in a number of vacation destinations have called for a travel ban for refugees from New York City, citing pressure on food supplies and concerns that regional health systems will collapse.
In the absence of such a ban, several communities have urged visitors to stay away, while others take matters into their own hands by ordering mandatory quarantines for people entering the hot zones of the corona virus.
In Cape Cod, Massachusetts, more than 5,000 people have signed a petition to close bridges connecting the area to the mainland to physically block out-of-state visitors, while in Southold, New York, they have asked the governor to provide all essential prohibit workers from traveling to the island’s East End.
Empty yourself into King Kullen in Bridgehampton on Tuesday as New Yorkers fleeing the coronavirus hotspot put more pressure on supermarkets and locals struggle to find the supplies they need due to dwindling supplies
Kristen Bonner and Carla Litto relax on Tuesday in their convertible MB at the Shinnecock Inlet. Holiday destination locals that are popular with New Yorkers are concerned that they pose an increased risk of the coronavirus
Cycling on Halsey Neck Lane in Southampton. Tensions are mounting in small towns where wealthy New York City residents have fled to escape the corona virus hotspot, as locals complain of looted supermarkets and hospitals getting busier
Freezers were empty on Tuesday in this King Kullen in Bridgehampton, as locals worry New Yorkers are eating food
Popular destinations among so-called ‘coronavirus refugees’ include Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, the Jersey Shore and South Florida. Local leaders in those communities have called for travel bans on visitors to New York City, citing food pressures and concerns about the collapse of regional health systems
Southold is already the city hardest hit in Suffolk County, New York, by a coronavirus outbreak.
“A new trend is taking place that is putting our local residents at greater risk – those seeking refuge in the metropolitan areas,” said city manager Scott A. Russell, warning that resources could be pushed to the breaking point.
“Our limited medical resources are overloaded and … they are reaching a capacity that may limit access to residents … Southold should not be treated as someone’s personal isolation unit.
“It’s simple math, the more people come, the greater the spread and the greater the number of confirmed cases,” he added.
“We have a limited number of stores that try to keep their shelves stocked and to keep stocks as good as possible. Neighbors find it difficult to meet even their most basic needs. Needless hoarding and the recent, sudden population expansion by those who come make this much worse.
“I join Southampton supervisor Jay Schneiderman and request Governor Cuomo to impose a travel ban on the east side to limit travel to essential personnel only. Our resources are scarce, the risk of spread is too high for a city that already sees more than its share of confirmed cases and deaths. Southold should NOT be treated as a person’s personal isolation unit. ‘
More empty freezers greeted locals on Tuesday in this King Kullen in Bridgehampton. All-year-round residents fear that the influx of New Yorkers attempting to escape the epicenter will have a major impact on their own resources and will limit them
Cyclists are still seen despite social distance guidelines on Halsey Neck Lane in Southampton on Tuesday afternoon
People hang out on Coopers Beach in Southampton, one of the many places New Yorkers flee to the city
People keep walking on Coopers Beach in Southampton as locals fear the influx of New Yorkers endangering them
Tensions are mounting in small towns where New York City residents have fled to escape the corona virus hotspot, while locals complain of looted supermarkets and hospitals are getting busier. Pictured: A Stop & Shop store in East Hampton is overwhelmed by customers who turn to self-insulation
In the Hamptons, year-round residents have flooded social media with pictures of empty shelves in stores, such as the best market in Westhampton Beach shown above
In the Hamptons, full-time residents have flooded social media with photos of overcrowded supermarkets where shelves have been emptied by panic buyers who are gearing up for self-isolation.
In a Stop & Shop in East Hampton on Sunday, the store was so busy that employees had to supervise lines to keep people six feet apart and erect barriers to protect cashiers.
A source described the scene on page six and said, “It was very crowded, with a number of aisles of twenty or thirty people.
“There was no social distance. They sent security down an aisle and asked people to disperse.”
In the coveted beach towns of Long Island, the demand for rental properties has increased enormously. Some residents claim that property managers have asked them to leave so that their homes can be rented out to wealthy visitors from New York City at a higher price.
This King Kullen in Bridgehampton had many empty shelves on Tuesday when New Yorkers fled the city
Surfers continue to hit the beach in Southampton, despite concerns about the corona virus spreading with an influx of New Yorkers
A report by Vice on Monday claimed that limousine companies have seen an increasing demand for drivers taking mail from people’s homes in Manhattan to their island of Long Island.
Several celebrities are among the alleged coronavirus refugees filling up on local beaches – including Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson and Anna Wintour.
The leaders of four Hamptons communities wrote to Cuomo on Friday urging him to take action and ban residents coming to the East End.
In Cape Cod, another popular summer getaway for New Yorkers, full-time residents are trying to get the local government to close bridges to cars without state license plates.
In Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island, community leaders discourage second-home owners and other travelers from severely affected areas from visiting the area, where hospitals are already reporting bed and supply shortages.
People hanging out on Main Street in Southampton. New Yorkers flee the city to the vacation destination
Leaders of four Hamptons communities wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday urging him to take action and ban New York City residents coming to the East End. A couple is seen on an empty beach in Hampton Bays on Tuesday
Semi-empty shelves can be seen on Tuesday at the Best Market in Westhampton Beach
Stores in the Hamptons and across the country are struggling to keep up with demand for basic items like cleaning supplies and toilet paper, while customers are rushing to stock up on themselves for self-insulation. Pictured: a stop & shop in East Hampton
Beaches in the Hamptons are filled earlier than normal when New Yorkers flee to Long Island to escape the corona virus
A group of people stretch their legs by taking a stroll along Dune Road in Quogue on Tuesday
In Cape Cod, Massachusetts, another popular vacation spot among New Yorkers, full-time residents petitioned to close bridges (such as the Sagamore Bridge, photo) for cars with unofficial license plates
In Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island, community leaders discourage second home owners and other travelers from severely affected areas from visiting the area, where hospitals are already reporting bed and supply shortages (file photo)
A member of the Rhode Island National Guard approaches a property on Saturday to check on New Yorkers after the state ordered mandatory quarantine for visitors from the severely affected state
Eight cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Martha’s Vineyard
Eight cases of coronavirus have been reported in Martha’s Vineyard, while local officials urge visitors to stay away from the idyllic island of New England.
Initially, three cases were reported on Sunday. That number rose to eight on Monday, the hospital said in a news conference.
However, in the current Martha’s Vineyard hospital, it can only contain nine COVID-19 patients.
The sudden spike follows the exodus of the New York City elite to their summer and vacation homes in the state and on the east coast – causing local communities to run wild as supermarkets are suddenly emptied and hospitals overwhelmed.
Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is now bracing for a possible increase in COVID-19 patients on the island that covers 87 square miles and has a population of 15,000.
On Tuesday morning, the hospital tested 101 people on COVID-19. Eight of those tests are positive, 76 negative and 17 pending results.
However, officials said no one is currently hospitalized for COVID-19 on the island and none of the positive cases were hospital workers.
While it’s not clear if the positive patients were people who flocked to the island in the face of the pandemic, the influx of Vineyard summer residents concerns local officials.
“That’s why we urged the governor to impose a travel ban,” said hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici, according to the Vineyard Gazette.
“Because people flock from places like New York, which have such a high incidence, we assume everyone is positive. Therefore, quarantine is essential. That’s the nugget, ”she added.
Hospital leaders are now urging seasonal residents to remain seated and islanders to stay at home.
“Traveling less is less likely to spread the disease,” Schepici said. “We also want to let our summer residents know we love them, we depend on them, but Martha’s Vineyard can’t handle our summer population in this pandemic.”
Now the island’s health council is working with hospital officials to conduct comprehensive contact tracking for the eight positive cases on the island, according to Martha’s Vineyard Times.
“With only eight cases, I don’t think the cases are there to support community transfer at the moment, but I can’t say for sure,” said Maura Valley, who works with Tisbury’s health department.
On Monday, Schepici said the hospital had only six respirators and two respiratory therapists.
Now the hospital is scrambling for more beds and is planning potential patient transfers with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the parent company.
“We are preparing for a wave. I wish it was unlikely. I think it is very likely, ”she said.
Five tents have been set up outside the hospital since the coronavirus outbreak, including a decontamination tent for emergency responders and a tent for carrying out COVID-19 tests.
In the hospital, the area is divided into two separate sections for coronavirus and non-coronavirus to prevent the possible spread of the virus from the inside.
Reporting by Marlene Lenthang for DailyMail.com
New York counties propose mandatory 14-day quarantines for visitors from NYC
In northern New York, county officials are considering enforcing 14-day quarantines for anyone entering their borders from the hot zones of the corona virus, which is New York City.
Rensselaer County led the way by issuing a public health order on Friday, requiring visitors arriving in the area to contact the local health department and self-quarantine for two weeks.
Executive Steve McLaughlin, who has repeatedly called on Cuomo to impose a travel ban on residents of New York City, said he told the governor’s office and the New York Health Commissioner. Howard Zucker had been notified of the warrant before it was issued.
He said Cuomo didn’t respond immediately, so they went ahead with the plan.
Cuomo seized power in one of his executive missions … and turned it over to the health and state health departments. Previously, provincial health departments had wide latitude in state statute, “McLaughlin told the Washington Examiner.
“It is still in the statute of the state, but he put it in his head so we had to go to him to ask for permission.
“So we did that. We said we don’t want people coming here, but if so, we want a 14-day quarantine. ‘
And according to McLaughlin, other executives in the county are likely to follow suit.
“We are already receiving calls from other provinces that want to do the same,” he said.
Senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi later said that the Rensselaer public health order is unenforceable and provinces must adhere to what the state prescribes.
The Rensselaer warrant went around the same time that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo issued an executive warrant that forced travelers from New York to quarantine for 14 days after visiting her state.
The Rhode Island National Guard then went door-to-door and convened outside the city in a move not well received by Cuomo, who threatened to file a lawsuit.
Raimondo withdrew on Sunday, then expanded the order to include “anyone” who came to Rhode Island from another state.
Drastic measures to keep visitors out of the state are justified, McLaughlin says, because the vast majority of New York’s more than 75,700 cases are concentrated in southern counties.
In Rensselaer County, which is located about two and a half hours north of New York City and has about 150,000 residents, there are currently 52 positive COVID-19 cases.
New York City has more than 38,000 cases and 914 deaths on Tuesday morning – far more than any other city in the US.
Of the people fleeing the Big Apple from the state, McLaughlin says, “The least they can do is quarantine themselves for 14 days.”
“The way I look at it if they want to escape, which is clear, why risk infecting the place you escaped to?” the former Republican state legislator continued.
Eighty-four percent of cases were in the counties of Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, New York City, and Rockland. And if you add Putnam, that’s probably almost 88 percent or 89 percent.
“It is madness to let those people go free.
“They’re free to move around the state, of course, but I think it’s common sense and just human decency not to infect the area you’re going to, and I don’t think 14 days is much to ask. ‘
At least six of the 52 confirmed Renssalaer coronavirus cases were from residents of New York City who traveled to the county, according to local officials.
In Columbia County, which is located about 125 miles north of Manhattan on the Massachusetts border, about a third of the 36 confirmed cases were visitors from New York City, said Health Director Jack Mabb.
Regional hospital systems are supporting the wave of out-of-town coronavirus patients
The influx of infections outside the city has led to growing concerns among provincial leaders that local hospital systems will be overwhelmed by patients.
Speaking on a Facebook Live event on Monday, McLaughlin said health facilities in the state are “ quickly flooded ” as people continue to travel north from New York City and the hard-hit suburbs.
“Our health system is in trouble,” said McLaughlin.
He made the comments after Cuomo announced that health systems across New York have agreed to adopt a “balanced approach” to addressing the outbreak by moving patients from congested hospitals to less crowded hospitals.
Steve McLaughlin, director of Rensselaer County (left) has repeatedly called for a travel ban for New York City residents who are fleeing the state. On Monday, Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo (right), announced that health systems across New York have agreed on a “balanced approach” to addressing the outbreak by moving patients from congested hospitals to less crowded hospitals.
Referring to the wave of patients in New York City’s public and private hospitals, Cuomo said, “We have hospitals in New York State that don’t experience all this – where they have staff, they have bed capacity.
“We need you now, here in this fight and involved, and that’s a completely different concept [for hospitals]. ‘
But McLaughlin and other provincial leaders are not fully on board the state-led plan, fearing it would increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in their communities and take up space in hospitals that may later be needed for local residents .
Asked about his reaction to the plan after Cuomo’s announcement, Columbia County health director Jack Mabb told local radio station WGXC 90.7, “I’m concerned because I’m concerned about the people of Columbia County, and if anyone needs a fan and everything else fans are full in the hospital, I’m concerned about that. ‘
However, Mabb admitted that the plan “makes some sense” – and it seems to be on the move.
McLaughlin said Rensselaer County received “confirmation from a reliable source” on Monday that “possibly a busload” of patients had been transferred from downstate hospitals to Albany Medical Center.
Asked to confirm that statement, Albany Med spokeswoman Sue Ford told Times Union, “We have no information on this at the moment.”
When the number of cases in New York exploded last week, Cuomo issued an order requiring all hospitals in the state to increase their capacity by at least 50 percent, with a goal of 100 percent.
Officials at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson said at the time that they could increase the workforce capacity “ very quickly ” by at least 65 percent.
Chief medical officer Clifford Belden told a news conference that with a little more time and “some extra help” from the state, the hospital could “take that number much further.”
The hospital, which is part of the Albany Medical Center system and serves both Columbia and Greene counties, generally has six to seven ICU beds at any one time, according to Belden.
“With our span plan, we’re likely to more than double that,” he said.
On Monday, Mabb announced that the Columbia County Office of Emergency Management had also identified 11 buildings that could be converted into temporary medical facilities if needed.
Officials at Columbia Memorial Hospital (pictured) aim to increase the staff bed capacity by at least 65 percent
The vast majority of the more than 76,000 cases in New York are concentrated in Southern counties
Local leaders are fighting with rental companies that invite people to escape hot spots
Steve Neuhaus, director of Orange County, said vacation rental companies like Airbnb are making things worse by trying to attract more out-of-town visitors to their properties.
Airbnb advertises, “Get out of the apocalypse. Leave New York City. Leave the city. Rent a house, ‘said Neuhaus the researcher.
He said executives from 62 New York counties are taking part in a nighttime phone call about the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s a big discussion every night, because in New York State, the further you go, the more the district leaders get upset,” he said.
In the Hamptons, real estate agents have seen a spike in demand for rental that normally doesn’t get any closer to summer.
Dylan Eckardt of Nest Seekers International told the Wall Street Journal that a wealthy New Yorker called him on his way out of town to say he had a blank check and to find a property for him to drive out the pandemic.
“I got this call,” I’m on my way out of town. You need to find me a house south of the nine-bedroom highway, I don’t want anyone around me. I want a pool, a tennis court. I have a blank check. Make it happen, ” he said.
“We rent things that are never rented in March. There is not even a price for it, because it does not happen. ‘
In the Hamptons, real estate agents have seen a spike in demand for rental that normally doesn’t get any closer to summer. A woman is seen outside Rogers Beach in Westhampton on Tuesday
The beaches in Westhampton were silent on Tuesday as clouds covered the sky
A few surfers donned wetsuits and took to the waves on Tuesday despite the cloudy weather
A man faces the ocean on Tuesday at Shinnecock Inlet
In an opinion for Bloomberg, columnist Joe Nocera described how a real estate agent who sold him his house in the Hamptons recently asked if he was interested in renting it out.
Nocera and his family left New York City for their three-bedroom home in Southampton when the outbreak broke out about two and a half weeks ago.
Not long after, the broker contacted his wife Dawn and asked where they planned to isolate themselves, he said.
When Dawn said they were staying on Long Island, the real estate agent replied, “I can rent your house for a lot of money. Please let me know if you change your mind. ‘
Nocera said about two-thirds of its neighborhood is made up of summer homes that remain empty for most of the year.
But now he said almost all homes have cars parked in the driveway – a rare sight for March.
As one of the “coronavirus refugees” himself, Nocera said he felt significant contempt for locals who were frustrated to see so many New York City residents infiltrating their communities to escape the virus.
Residents of Long Island call on anyone who has recently arrived from the city to be quarantined for 14 days