LITCHFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- As the coronavirus spreads through New York City, some residents are fleeing to other states, with Connecticut being a prime location.

“We've had a huge burst in short-term rentals at this moment for people trying to escape New York,” said Graham Klemm, co-owner of Klemm Real Estate.

According to Channel 3's Vote Now poll, viewers think the border with New York should be closed right now, but some in Litchfield County don't think that is realistic.

Visit the poll here.

Normally, Klemm's realty company is helping people who want to buy a home or locate a summer rental. However, this spring, he's seen an influx of New Yorkers looking to get away, as the city is seeing COVID-19 spread rapidly.

“A lot of people are now wanting to start a lease within 24 to 48 hours,” Klemm said.

Connecticut isn't the only destination, and this exodus has public health officials worried.

“Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to make sure the virus hasn't spread to others,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Task Force response coordinator.

Members of the task force said Tuesday that the New York Metro area accounts for half of all cases in the country.

People in Litchfield County are concerned that folks from New York could bring the virus with them.

“It sure does, I'm obviously taking every precaution I can,” said Ray Luhn, of Washington, CT.

However, New Yorkers have been traveling to places like Washington for weeks.

“I happen to be one of those New Yorker people that's been up here now for about three weeks, so hopefully no one else is coming up to bring it,” said Arthur Brooks, of Morris.

While some people in the state want Gov. Ned Lamont to close the New York border, he isn't considering that right now.

A spokesperson said “Highways are empty, train ridership has plummeted, and closing the border would disrupt supply chains for essential businesses like food, pharmaceuticals, and medical goods. Everyone needs to continue to stay safe, stay home, regardless of where they live.”

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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