MARKLEEVILLE (CBS13) — The sheriff of California’s most remote county is pleading for people to avoid coming to try and escape the coronavirus stay-at-home order.

On Monday, Alpine County Sheriff Rick Stephens released a statement urging people to stay home.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the current events happening in our world, we all must deal with them,” Sheriff Stephens wrote. “Alpine County does not have the resources for an influx of second homeowners who want to come here.”

Stephens noted how he and his staff have been isolating themselves to make sure they can still be available as first responders.

“I, myself, haven’t seen my children or grandchildren in over 2 weeks,” Sheriff Stephens wrote. “My staff is isolating themselves on their days off so that we may be here to serve you.”

The sheriff also noted how Alpine County’s demographics mean more of their residents are at risk after exposure to the coronavirus.

“Please stay at home. Recreate in your backyard. Help us help you. If you don’t, it will be even a longer time until we flatten the curve,” Stephens wrote.

Alpine is California’s least populous county, with just 1,175 people as of the 2010 Census. It is located south of South Lake Tahoe entirely within the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Tuolumne County issued a similar plea on Monday through their Facebook page.

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