WINGHAM, ONT. -- To deter cottagers from coming to the shoreline to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, the Township of Huron-Kinloss is enacting some extreme measures.

In an emergency order, the township, which encompasses 13 kilometres of Lake Huron shoreline, including Point Clark, will not turn on water for seasonal residents until the pandemic is over.

In a statement released on Huron-Kinloss’ Facebook page Monday night, Mayor Mitch Twolan said he’s aware of several cottagers who’ve come their second homes in the past two weeks.

“This is not a vacation or a holiday. This pandemic is serious. There is no evidence to support that rural areas are inherently protected from the virus,” he said.

The township says this move is to deter seasonal residents with permanent homes in cities and towns across Ontario from coming to their second residence during the pandemic.

The Township says if a seasonal residence in Huron-Kinloss is one's only address in Canada, the order does not impact them, and water will be turned back on.

Twolan and other rural mayors, say that rural hospitals are not prepared for huge influx of COVID-19 patients. Adding thousands of seasonal residents, they fear, would increase the risk of community transmission.

Other shoreline communities are considering similar orders to deter seasonal residents from coming to their cottage.

Last week, the Grey-Bruce Health Unit strongly recommended that all travel in and out of Grey-Bruce be suspended until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.