BARRIE, ONT. -- An aggressive COVID-19 outbreak at Simcoe Manor Home for the Aged has prompted the province to step in and hand control over to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

The Beeton seniors' facility has been overwhelmed with cases of the virus, with 34 residents and 20 staff members testing positive.

Four residents who became infected have since died.

The County of Simcoe, which operates the seniors' home, had asked for help to battle the dire situation, saying it's been difficult to contain because some positive cases have been asymptomatic.

"Our staff continue to work hard for our residents whom they consider family, and to stop the spread of the outbreak within our home," said Jane Sinclair, general manager of health and emergency services, County of Simcoe. "This is a terrible and insidious virus, often spreading without signs or symptoms."

The county has worked closely with the Simcoe Muskoka health unit, which issued an order Friday for RVH to take over management of the long-term care home.

Under the province's order, RVH will oversee the seniors' facility for 90 days while the county will continue to handle day-to-day care.

To date, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued three Mandatory Management Orders between Ontario hospitals and long-term care homes, including River Glen Haven in Sutton, which was devastated after an outbreak saw 37 residents die and 90 become infected.