Only 3 residents at Roberta Place in Barrie, Ont., not infected with COVID-19 as death toll rises
BARRIE, ONT. -- The Simcoe Muskoka health unit says only three residents at Roberta Place long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., have not contracted COVID-19 amid an outbreak that has claimed 27 lives and infected 124 residents and 81 staff members.
The news comes as the health unit reports two more deaths on Friday. Additionally, there are nine new infections listed in the past 24 hours, two residents and seven staff members.
Meanwhile, there are concerns surrounding staffing.
On Friday, Ontario director of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) Ian Dewaard says these are trying times for the staff.
"They're very tired. They're obviously quite scared. This came on the facility very quickly," Dewaard says.
CLAC represents 115 staff at Roberta Place, 60 per cent of whom are infected with COVID-19.
Dr. Colin Lee, an associate medical officer with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, says they believe they are dealing with a COVID-19 variant after such a rapid increase in cases in a short time at the seniors' home.
Lee says the health unit hasn't identified the variant but is awaiting test results in the next few days.
Dewaald states that the Barrie facility's outbreak shows the growing issues at long-term care homes across Ontario.
"This has put incredible strain on the system," he says. "Not only do we need staff in the immediate situation like it's faced here at Roberta Place, but just generally to staff these homes properly."
Officials with Georgian College say they have made the difficult decision to cancel the start of clinical placements at Roberta Place and will work with students to secure alternative placements.