GTA residents head to cottage county amidst COVID-19 pandemic
BARRIE -- Cottage country isn't prepared after an influx of GTA residents travel north earlier than usual in the wake of COVID-19.
It's a move that has Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith on edge.
"I've had a conversation with the premier, and we're seeing an influx of a lot of people, of course, that have properties here and are seasonal residents, and while that is great, it's offseason for us," says Smith.
He says stores aren't entirely stocked or staffed as they would be in the summer months, but his biggest concerns are around healthcare.
"We have a limited number of ICU beds," says Smith, "and if we're suddenly dealing with double the population or more than we're used to, we can see a real shortage of needed healthcare facilities."
Mayor Smith adds if the food supply or healthcare system is threatened, he'll consider declaring a state of emergency.