A “peaceful assembly” will be happening in front of Huntsville Town Hall to protest the District of Muskoka’s COVID-19 data continuing to be reported alongside Simcoe County’s.

Peri Coombs is one of the organizers of the protest and says it’s unfair that Muskoka – which has had 250 coronavirus cases to date – is having its COVID-19 data reported along with Simcoe County’s where there has been 6,592 cases. “It’s something i’m, very passionate about,” she tells the MyMuskokaNow.com newsroom. Coombs says she’s planning to work in healthcare as a paramedic. 

“I’m close with a lot of people who own local businesses and I’ve seen them not only struggle financially, but mentally as well with the toll it’s taking on their businesses,” she says. Coombs adds it’s “not fair” that Muskoka has to suffer because of what’s happening, mostly in Simcoe County.

She says this isn’t an anti-mask or anti-COVID rally, but one aimed at making sure all levels of government know that it’s time to separate the two region’s virus data. “It’s not fair that communities are being punished because of the other communities they are linked with,” she says. “With them bringing us in and out of lockdown, a lot of businesses have had to lay off staff, then bring them back on and it’s taking a financial toll that.”

She says her father is one of the many contractors that have suffered during the pandemic because he hasn’t been able to get his hands on the supplies he needs.

“We have had so much support from local businesses,” she boasts. In the days leading up to the rally, she says she’s gone into some downtown Huntsville businesses asking for them to attend. “I had a couple business owner straight up break down into tears talking about the toll its taken,” she says. 

The rally is being held Saturday, March 13th at noon in front of Huntsville’s Town Hall. Coombs says she’s expecting a “pretty good” turnout from individuals and business owners. 

“This is a call on them to do what’s right and save and protect our local businesses,” she says of the local politicians. Coombs wants Ontario Premier Doug Ford, our MPP Norm Miller and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner to hear what they’re saying and make changes to support local businesses.