WINGHAM, ONT. -- In the past month, Huron-Perth has almost doubled their number of COVID-19 cases, and on Friday the region was moved from yellow 'protect' to the orange 'restrict' level of COVID-19 guidelines.

"Our numbers are largely driven by two factors. One is the outbreak at Cedarcroft Retirement Home in Stratford, and the other is the outbreak in Perth East. But, we’ve all seen how quickly that can escalate and spread into the community," says Dr. Miriam Klassen of the Huron-Perth Health Unit, who called for stricter COVID-19 measures in the two counties Thursday.

But the call for stricter measures had rubbed some people the wrong way even before the tighter restrictions were confirmed, especially in Huron County, where COVID-19 cases lag behind Perth County.

Of the 264 total cases in Huron-Perth, 55 have been in Huron, with 209 from Perth. Of the 48 active cases, only two are in Huron County. Huron and Perth County merged health units on Jan. 1 of this year.

"It’s always easier to stop it before it gets here, than it is to stop once it’s here. You can in places like Manitoba. Crazy numbers, and they had nothing previously," says Huron County Warden Jim Ginn.

Ginn says he’s in favour of the tougher measures in Huron-Perth, even if some residents aren’t.

"We’re half-an-hour away, a half-hour drive. Someone could stop at a gas station and bring it to Huron County. We’re just as vulnerable as anyone else is," he says. 

"I think when you look at factors like what’s happening in neighbouring regions, like Waterloo and Southwestern, and you look at the number of people that are in hospital right now due to decanting (moving Cedarcroft residents to hospital), I think they are all factors that speak in favour of moving to orange," says Klassen.