Ocean City tells tourists to stay away amid coronavirus fears

Ocean City, Maryland's most popular resort town, is telling tourists to stay away amid coronavirus fears.


"To further protect our residents, visitors and Town employees we request that visitors postpone trips to Ocean City beginning immediately," said Mayor Rick Meehan in a statement. "This action is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing and flatten the curve of this dangerous Coronavirus. At this point, the only weapon we have to combat this potentially fatal virus is to take drastic measures. All of us have to work together to outlast and shorten the cycle of this pandemic."

The coastal community is highly dependent on tourism. The town of less than 10,000 permanent residents swells to over 300,000 on summer weekends making it the second largest city in the state behind Baltimore.

The march to the sea at Ocean City, MD. on July 3, 2012 . ( Photo by Jeffrey MacMillan )

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"While we look forward to the time when we can welcome you again, now is not the time to visit Ocean City," Mayor Meehan said. "We are urging citizens to stay home, be responsible and avoid large crowds, including on our beach and Boardwalk. We will continue to monitor this changing situation and will not hesitate to take additional actions necessary to protect our community."