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Short-Term Rentals Shut Down
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The Pocono Mountains bring visitors from all over and most of them are from places like New York and New Jersey.

St. Luke's and Lehigh Valley Health Network officials say the COVID-19 outbreak in the eastern part of the state is likely due to those who cross state borders.

"There is a stay at home [order] in New York. They're not listening," said Pennsylvania State Senator Mario Scavello. "There is a stay at home in New Jersey. They're not listening. The president has a stay at home and that is why this thing is continuing to grow."

Scavello noticed AirBnb and other short term rentals posting advertisements welcoming those from other hot spots to Pennsylvania. He says they welcomed visitors to 'escape the coronavirus.'

"You're not getting one family. It's 5 or 6 cars of people and if one of them has it, then they all have it," said Scavello.

He then called on the Governor to add short term rentals to the list of non-life sustaining businesses that must remain closed indefinitely.

"The legislators on both sides of the aisle and both chambers were very helpful in bringing this to my attention and I think we reacted very quickly to that," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. "There is nothing essential about a short-term rental in the Poconos, so we hav to shut them down."

"When you take into consideration the population to the amount of people that have it, we're the highest and that includes Philadelphia, percentage to population," explained Scavello. "What is not in the numbers that are being shared with everyone is the New York and New Jersey numbers. If you took those numbers, you can add another 40% that Monroe County has."

Any renter taking reservations online will be fined by State Police.

Because bridges and borders cannot be closed down, Senator Scavello says nothing else can be done to enforce the stay at home orders and keep people from crossing state lines. So, he's asking everyone to do their part now.

"This isn't about dollars and cents. This is about saving lives," said Scavello. "If we don't solve it in this month, it's going to blow out into May and June, and it will kill your summer business. Bite the bullet here. Let's get it done so we can survive."