Leaders ask for pause on vacation rentals to stop virus from spreading into Seneca County

Seneca County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Robert Hayssen is calling on residents of more populated areas of the state and country to avoid sheltering in Seneca County.

Chairman Hayssen is concerned about the impact that an influx of traffic from communities outside of Seneca could have on the local and regional hospital system.

“The Governor of New York State has issued a State of Emergency and the Seneca County has done the same,” Hayssen reminded.  “We need to work together at this time to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus down. As Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Seneca County I am encouraging that vacation rentals temporarily postpone renting until we get past this pandemic.”

Seneca County has a limited number of healthcare resources and is not equipped for a broad spread of the virus.

Chairman Hayssen is also requesting that all second-home owners and short-term rental owners remove any short-term rental listings from services such as Airbnb and Vrbo and not rent their properties until the crisis has ended. Hundreds of letters have been sent to these property owners.

Seneca County joins Essex and other counties throughout the state who find themselves in a similar predicament and has called on the New York State of Association of Counties to play a greater role in getting support from New York State to enact stricter regulations related to vacation rentals and second homes.

Deborah Birx, the State Department doctor who is advising Vice President Mike Pence, said at a White House news conference on Tuesday. “Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others,” she said.

“I know this will be a hardship for those who must cancel reservations and lose important income.  Some individuals depend on this income for maintaining the property and various other cost associated with short term rentals.  We do not need people to possibly be quarantining themselves or not knowing they are infected until it is too late,” said Seneca County Manager Mitch Rowe.

At this time it is more important to protect all the individuals that can be associated with vacation rentals. Hopefully this industry will be helped or aided by the State or Federal Government minimize loss of revenue.


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