Madawaska Valley Mayor Kim Love has hit back at anti-mask protesters as the Renfrew County District Health Unit declares Barry’s Bay a hotspot for COVID-19.

In a statement, Mayor Love addressed anti-mask protests by saying that they will not end the pandemic, and COVID-19 doesn’t care if they protest. She says if they can’t join the public in following guidelines, then they should stay home. She also took aim at others who are unwilling to follow public health guidelines, saying they should stay home as well if they can’t follow them. She also suggests those who can’t wear a mask for medical reasons to contact a friend or a volunteer group to pick up essentials.

However, she did sincerely thank those who were following guidelines, saying they were putting the wellbeing of the community and society first. But she also warned of potential restrictions in Barry’s Bay if things don’t change. She’s urging the community to stay vigilant to protect the local economy and community.