Online petition launched to restrict Cape Cod to year-round residents

Cape Cod residents have launched an online petition to close bridges to the peninsula in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus by restricting the vacation hub to permanent residents.

“People are acting like it’s vacation time,” year-round resident Beth Hickman, who started the petition, told a Boston CBS affiliate, WBZ. “The beaches are full. I drove by a beach a couple weekends ago and there was a group of like 10 to 15 kids just hanging out.”

The petition, which is seeking 10,000 signatures, had nearly 9,700 Wednesday afternoon.

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“This is not about us Cape coders [sic] being mean or not wanting people here, or going to their second home, we can’t not [sic] handle the influx of people,” the petition description states.  “I know people personally that work at the hospital and they talk about how over whelmed they are. We need to do this for them all the front line people. Don’t put your self first think of them. What do you think will happen if the medical department falls apart.”

However, State Sen. Julian Cyr (D), whose district includes Cape Cod and nearby islands, told WBZ that closing the federally owned bridges was both not possible and unnecessary.

“It’s just a bridge too far, would likely do more harm than good and is something, frankly, we just don’t have the ability to do,” he said.

“We’ve put a whole list of protocols in place," he added. "We’re really working hard to protect our communities. We’re encouraging people to think twice about coming here.”

Massachusetts had seen 89 deaths and 6,620 total cases of the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday evening, according to the state Department of Public Health. Of those, 191 cases are in Barnstable County, which includes Cape Cod and adjacent islands.