BARRIE, ONT. -- Municipalities in Muskoka are on edge as COVID-19 cases climb in Simcoe County, along with speculation of tighter restrictions for the region.

According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), most infections continue to be from the Barrie and South Simcoe areas, prompting a push from Muskoka to separate from the health unit's geographical borders.

"The vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka reside in Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury, New Tecumseth, Essa, and Innisfil," states the SMDHU website.

For the week starting Dec. 7, the health unit reported a new weekly record of 305 cases, just 10 of those among Muskoka residents.

"If we end up with further restrictions, Muskoka will be impacted, even though they don't have the same transmission pattern," SMDHU's Dr. Charles Gardner said.

Muskoka Lakes Mayor Phil Harding said grouping the area with Simcoe County would be unfair. "It really would be devastating if we had to follow the same protocols as Barrie, Bradford or Innisfil."

The SMDHU's medical officer of health said various councils across Muskoka reached out, hoping to avoid being looped in with higher transmission areas.

"There's certainly concern in Muskoka about being treated in the same as way as Simcoe even though their transmission patterns are very different," Gardner said. "Legally, the province would find it challenging to break up territories, though I don't think that would be impossible."

Still, the region's top doc said tighter measures do keep residents safe.

"The counter consideration would be that there would be added protection for Muskoka against such transmission from the south, but I think that argument hasn't been tried on neighbouring health units that aren't so affected, so I think that carries limited weight."

Chambers of Commerce across Muskoka have lobbied the premier for change, issuing in a statement to CTV News Thursday, "As of today, Muskoka has zero new cases reported, and feel that entering into a red zone due to its affiliation would not be warranted."

Gardner said he also raised the issue with the province, "but so far their approach has been to work with health units as a whole, but we will see if they change their position on that."

The province is expected to announce if Simcoe Muskoka will move into the red or possibly grey zone Friday.