“It’s a conundrum,” Gravenhurst Mayor Paul Kelly says when asked if Muskoka’s COVID-19 numbers should be reported separately from Simcoe County’s.

As of Wednesday, there have been 113 total cases in the District of Muskoka and 2,627 in Simcoe County.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said during his weekly briefing Tuesday if Muskoka was separated from Simcoe, it would either be in the green or yellow zone under the province’s colour coded framework. 

“I acknowledge there’s a difference in the data (between two areas),” he said.

Gardner said there would be challenges separating them, starting with how they log data on their website. “We would have two different domains for Muskoka and Simcoe on our website,” he explained. “I sympathize with how businesses and communities could be impacted.”

“There’s no simple answer to any of this,” Kelly says. “I think there is a feeling that to another zone particularly lockdown there would be a big impact on our community.”

“I’m concerned about what happens if Simcoe is needing to go (into lockdown) and we’re dragged along with that,” Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says. He adds that for businesses it’s frustrating, especially when they’re doing everything they’re being told to do.

Huntsville’s Mayor Karin Terziano says the Mayors of Muskoka have written to the provincial government asking them to consider separating the District of Muskoka from Simcoe County when reporting COVID-19 numbers. “We’re being lumped in with Simcoe and our numbers aren’t nearly as bad,” she says. “We’re not trying to second guess them. But our populations are telling us they feel we’re being unfairly punished by being in the red right now.”