Separate Muskoka From Simcoe For Covid Response Regions

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Some of our local politicians have been advocating to have Muskoka viewed independently from Simcoe in the framework of Regional Covid Response Plans. Given today's announcement, their voices have not been heard and I think we should join them to advocate for ourselves in this matter. 

The colour coded system has a number of contributing factors that move a region from one colour to the next. This includes number of positive cases per 100,000 people, percentage rate of positive tests conducted, amount of community spread and hospitalized patients due to the virus. As of 2016 the population of Muskoka was 60,599. That number has obviously since gone up and as per a survey conducted by The District of Muskoka, we have at least 7,000 seasonal residents spending their time here this winter.

Our current colour, Orange dictates 25 - 39.9 cases per 100,000 with a testing positivity rate of 1.3% - 2.4%. Red, which we are suppose to move to Monday dictates 40 or more cases per 100,000 with a testing positivity rate of 2.5% or more.

As per The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit's Website, in the week of December 4th - December 11th, they have listed 372 new cases of Covid 19. Of that, only 10 were in Muskoka. Of that 10, only 2 were community acquired however there are still 2 under investigation. In the rolling 7 day dashboard that joins the two regions statistically, the positive testing rate is currently 2.1% which obviously would be extremely lower if Muskoka were being reviewed independently. Muskoka could arguably be moved up to yellow with our current stats yet we're moving to red.

Doug Ford said the purpose of this system was to target "hot spots"
 and not punish the whole province, yet this is exactly what he is doing Muskoka. Businesses and community members have done their part to keep the spread of Covid-19 low in Muskoka yet because of a technicality, our privileges are being taken away. Even through the Spring and Summer when Muskoka became unbelievably overwhelmed with tourists, the permanent residences of this region kept the spread and our case count down.

Please sign and share this petition to have our voices heard. This time of year is already so difficult for small businesses to survive and for individuals to maintain positive mental health. It's as simple as changing a line on a map for this one sole purpose and our Medical Officers of Health along with Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, are currently choosing to ignore this request and remove our privileges unjustly.