County of Simcoe urging officials to reconsider grey zone restrictions on business

"We have been assured that the Province is actively looking at the situation"

The County of Simcoe is urging the powers that be to reconsider what restrictions to put in place to curb COVID spread in our area.

A statement issued by the County on Tuesday and attributed to Warden George Cornell indicates a meeting with provincial officials on Monday made it clear the county is seeking a better balance between supporting the local economy and continuing to safeguard public health. “We understand that the change in our status after only a short time in the Red designation has put significant stress on our small businesses and communities as a whole,” reads Tuesday’s statement. “This, coupled with the timing of the Provincial announcement regarding our move to Grey, and regions adjacent to us being moved to green levels, only adds to the frustration. We know that these changes make it difficult to operate a viable business.”

The statement goes on to indicate these concerns have also been shared with Simcoe-Muskoka’s medical officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner. The county says it has asked Gardner to look at alternate ways to allow businesses that can and have been safely open, to continue to do so while maintaining other public safety measures and restrictions. “We have been assured that the Province is actively looking at the situation and are encouraged that the Province and the SMDHU understand the issues and will work to resolve this local challenge.”

The County-issued statement points out the health unit has begun rolling out a large vaccination program and urges all those who are willing, able, and meet current criteria to get the shot once available. “The combination of the efforts and guidelines including vaccinations and safety protocols is what will ultimately get us to where we all wish to be.”