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Cape Cod Residents Petition To Close Bridges During Coronavirus Pandemic

BOURNE (CBS) -- To stop the spread of coronavirus on the Cape, some residents say it is time to close the bridges.

Cape Codder and year-round resident Beth Hickman said, "People are acting like it's vacation time. 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."

She started an online petition to restrict Cape Cod to year-round residents, medical personnel, and deliveries of essential supplies. It claimed the possible influx of infected people would overwhelm the health care system and would drain limited resources and supplies in what is still the offseason.

According to Hickman, one woman who commented on the petition said her out-of-state neighbors from New York arrived with mild coronavirus symptoms and still went to the grocery stores.

The petition had more than 7,000 signatures as of Tuesday evening, but not everyone is in favor of limiting the Cape to residents only.

"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," said State Senator Julian Cyr who represents the Cape and Islands.

He said anyone traveling to the Cape should self-quarantine for 14 days, in keeping with state guidelines.

According to Cyr, it isn't possible to close the federal bridges and it isn't necessary.

"We've put a whole list of protocols in place. We're really working hard to protect our communities. We're encouraging people to think twice about coming here," Cyr said.

He also told WBZ-TV he works with 20 cities and towns and not a single town manager, police chief, or hospital has requested closing the bridges.

"The Sagamore and Bourne Bridges are considered critical infrastructure and, as such, there are no plans at this time to close the bridges due to the coronavirus," U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Tim Dugan said in a statement to WBZ.

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