The Otsego County Coronavirus Task Force on Saturday, March 28, announced a travel advisory to visitors and out-of-county residents amid coronavirus concerns, joining Delaware and Schoharie counties, which each issued similar travel advisories last week.
The task force launched the “Safer at Home” campaign, asking visitors, weekenders, second-homeowners and short-term rental owners to refrain from visiting Otsego County while coronavirus remains a public threat.
“While it is our custom to welcome travelers from outside of Otsego County who visit and stay at second homes, short term rentals, motels and hotels, during this unprecedented public health emergency, visitors may be seeking refuge from COVID-19 hotspots,” Otsego County Board Chair Dave Bliss wrote in a March 28 letter.
“You should not have an expectation that resources will be available to you here that are not also available to you in your own hometown. The risk to all increases with the movement of non-residents in and out of Otsego County,” he continued. “Individuals who travel here increase the pressure on our already strained resources, including first responders, health care providers, hospitals and other government services. It could easily tax our health care system beyond its capacity.”
Individuals who are traveling to Otsego County from the New York City greater metropolitan area and other areas hard hit by COVID-19 are asked to notify the Otsego County Department of Health upon their arrival and self-isolate for 14 days, according to the statement.
“We look forward to a return of normalcy in the near future, when we can again welcome visitors to our area with open arms,” Bliss wrote.