Urbanites are fleeing to rural communities out West

Some worry about local outbreaks that they can’t handle

New York Weekend Edition /
Apr.April 12, 2020 02:00 PM
Citydwellers fleeing coronavirus have descended on rural communities across the Western U.S. (Credit: iStock)

Citydwellers fleeing coronavirus have descended on rural communities across the Western U.S. (Credit: iStock)

Well-heeled city slickers are looking far and wide to escape the virus. And many are settling on the remote communities of the American West.

The influx of potential coronavirus carriers to small rural communities has some full-time residents worried about local outbreaks that their healthcare systems can’t handle, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That’s the same dilemma facing many vacation communities outside New York City where urbanites fled in droves in recent weeks.

The ski resort town of Big Sky, Montana is among the otherwise small off-season communities experiencing a surge in visitors. The local county, Gallatin County, accounts for more than a third of Montana’s 330 or so cases of COVID-19.

Some community groups, like the Big Sky Chamber, are “not encouraging people to come at this time,” said CEO Candace Carr Strauss. Yellowstone Club, a resort in the town, also asked members to stay away.

Late last month, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued a stay-at-home order and recently ordered out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The Victory Ranch preserve outside Park City, Utah saw a surge in members coming out to wait out the pandemic in their cabins. It’s taxed the property’s management company, who is delivering groceries and takeout to people in their cabins. [WSJ] – Dennis Lynch


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