COLLINGWOOD, ONT. -- The raw emotion from the front lines is evident in Collingwood as hospital staff struggle to deal with an influx of patients.

Dr. Brian Recoskie, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH), is brought to tears as he pleads with the community to heed the health guidelines.

"You feel like the weight of the world is on us right now," Recoskie says.

Simcoe Muskoka will move into the red zone of the province's COVID-19 framework on Monday at 12:01 a.m., meaning tightened restrictions.

Related Article: Ontario tightens restrictions, moving Simcoe Muskoka into the Red zone

While the COVID-19 case count had remained relatively low in the area, CGMH president and CEO Norah Holder says numbers have started to climb in recent weeks.

"I can give you an example, from this past weekend, we went from zero to 100 miles an hour within 24 hours with a surge of in patients and caring for more patients experiencing COVID-19," Holder says.

To tackle the issue, CGMH reopened an 18-bed facility at the Collingwood Legion to support non-COVID patients, acting as a separator from the hospital.

Lead physician Dr. Brian Bolton admits he could never have imagined this is where he would be practicing medicine.

"When I was in high school, I was working at the beer store, at which point I would deliver beer to the legion. If you told me 20 years ago, I would end up being a doctor and turning it into a secondary hospital, well," he chuckled.

Earlier this week, Dr. Gregg Bolton sent a letter to the community on behalf of medical staff, urging people to follow health guidelines.

"This year, there is no better way of showing our commitment to our community by following the asks we have. In this way, you will show that you care enough about our community to keep it safe and healthy," Bolton says.

"We're trying to protect everyone. Just please - just do your part and protect us," Recoskie implores the public.