By Joe Chen | The Center Square
Despite efforts to limit opportunities for COVID-19 to spread, out-of-state visitors continue to visit New Hampshire, resulting in a mixed response from leaders and residents.
On March 29, after 400 people traveled to Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine, the U.S. Forest Service shut the trail down. On the same weekend, a resident of North Conway expressed his concern about out of state visitors on Facebook.
“The governor is asking for a voluntary 14-day quarantine if you travel from another state, but that doesn’t make sense if you go shopping in town before you adhere to that,” a resident wrote.
Gov. Chris Sununu said March 30 that he thought most people who went out hiking were following social distancing guidelines.
“I think people are taking it incredibly seriously,” Sununu said. “In very few instances were people not managing the social distancing.”
A state park official echoed the importance of being cautious.
“People putting themselves at risk results in a multitude of first responders and volunteers having to abandon social distancing guidelines, thus placing themselves at risk,” Lt. William Boudreau said in a New Hampshire Fish and Game statement March 30. “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Monadnock State Park has seen a surge in hikers with an estimated 90% of the hikers coming from out of state.”
A local pharmacist recently told the Sun that business increased by 25 percent because out-of-state visitors, mostly from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, were asking to transfer their subscriptions.
In contrast to social media reports about hostility between locals and out-of-state visitors, Conway Police said it has not received many reports on it.
“Everything has been eerily quiet,” Ed Wagner, Conway police chief, recently told the Concord Monitor.