Barnstable County Officials Address Bridge Closure Petition

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County officials have addressed an online petition that calls to close the Bourne Bridge and Sagamore Bridge to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The petition, created by Yarmouth resident Beth Hickman, has roughly 10,000 signatures and counting.

It calls for the bridges to be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic to everyone except year-round residents, medical personnel, and those who deliver needed supplies.

Hickman said in the petition that Cape Cod’s limited number of medical personnel and resources would be overwhelmed if part-time residents and tourists come back early.

Only Governor Charlie Baker can close the bridges, Barnstable County Administrator Jack Yunits said in a teleconference.

While the petition may have been created with valid concerns, Yunits does not currently see the closures as a possibility, as it also involves a public safety issue and could potentially lead to panic.

“The huge reason that (Baker) would have to have to justify the closures is not within the purview right now,” Yunits said.

Barnstable County Commissioner Chair Ronald Bergstrom said that he does not want the situation to turn hostile.

“We’re all in this together. I think that we have to have a common approach to the threat of the virus,” he said.

Yunits said the county is working with healthcare establishments to help with sufficient resources, should extra COVID-19 case numbers in the area develop.

To view the petition, click here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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