Madden: Short term rentals banned in the Poconos during the Stay-At-Home order

MONROE, APRIL 1 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, and other regional lawmakers wrote a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking him to remove short-term rentals, such as Airbnb’s, from the list of essential businesses that may remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In response, Wolf has now deemed short-term rentals as non-essential businesses that must cease operating while the statewide Stay-at-Home order is in place.

“Closing short-term rentals in my district is for the safety of everyone because the number of COVID-19 cases is exploding and I have a real concern about this,” Madden said.

Madden said certain rental companies had been advertising to New York and New Jersey residents to come to the Poconos for a coronavirus-free environment.

“They are coming here, they’re spreading more germs and they are taking more germs back with them,” Madden said.

At today’s news briefing, Wolf said he’s ordering short-term rentals to close and thanked both Democratic and Republican state representatives and senators for alerting him to the public health and safety concerns.

“There is nothing essential to short-term rentals in the Poconos, so I’m glad to see the governor is shutting them down,” she said.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are 278 positive COVID-19 cases in Monroe County and that number grows every day.

In addition, Madden said because of the spike in coronavirus cases and the strain it is putting on hospitals, the Army Corps of Engineers is scouting for temporary hospital locations in the county.