More than 100 COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths reported at Barrie long-term care home

Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home in Barrie. Nick Westoll / Global News

More than 100 COVID-19 cases have been reported at a Barrie long-term care facility.

The outbreak is at Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home, managed by Jarlette Health Services, in the area of Essa and Harvie roads.

Nine residents have died at the facility, according to a statement from spokesperson Stephanie Barber on Sunday.

There were reported to be 62 confirmed coronavirus cases among residents and 43 among staff.

Barber said the facility is working with numerous partners in a bid to help curb the outbreak, including local hospitals, the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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“With regards to staffing, please be advised that for the past week, we have had the support of a dedicated human resources team who have worked diligently to secure the highest quality staff to offset possible gaps at our home,” Barber said.

“Furthermore, we have been fortunate that strong team members from many of our other long-term care homes, along with our regional operations team, have been deployed to further support the home in their efforts.”

Krystle Caputo, spokesperson for Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton, said in an email that a voluntary management contract is being formalized for Roberta Place.

“We remain committed to doing everything we can, along with our partners, to help stabilize the home and have it return to normal operations,” Caputo said.

There are daily meetings between the home, local health officials, and provincial officials.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Toronto-area critical physician warns of ICU staffing shortages'
Coronavirus: Toronto-area critical physician warns of ICU staffing shortages

Roberta Place is also receiving assistance from the Canadian Red Cross.

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Barber said testing is underway to determine if the cases at the home involve a mutated strain of the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at Roberta Place, including 71 on Saturday, Barber added.

Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home in Barrie. Nick Westoll / Global News

Send in military assistance: NDP

The Ontario NDP released a statement on the outbreak Sunday, calling for military assistance to be brought in.

The statement said physicians have highlighted that nearly all residents and staff at the home have contracted the coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 140 beds at Roberta Place, though it’s not clear how many of them are filled.

Global News has asked the home for clarification.

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“Physicians are calling for help at Roberta Place, and we hear the urgency,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.

“We’re asking Doug Ford not to let these people continue to suffer without the province doing anything to ease their struggle and help save lives.”

The government said since the Canadian Armed Forces were brought in during the pandemic’s first wave, steps have been taken to assist homes with urgent staffing needs.


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