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BREAKING: Deadly COVID outbreak declared over at Roberta Place

After 41 days and 71 deaths, the COVID-19 outbreak at Roberta Place has been declared over as of today

After 41 days and 71 deaths, the COVID-19 outbreak at Roberta Place in south-end Barrie has been declared over as of today.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit had declared an outbreak at the Essa Road long-term care home on Jan. 8. Since then, there have been 67 confirmed resident deaths, three considered probable, and one death of an essential caregiver who was associated with the facility.

On Jan. 23, it was determined after testing that the cause of the outbreak was the highly contagious UK B.1.1.7 variant.

At one point, 127 of 128 residents all had the virus in the 137-bed long-term care home.

In a statement, David Jarlette, president of Jarlette Health Services which operates Roberta Place, said “today’s announcement is one of both reflection and promise.”

To help control the spread of the virus, the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) took over direction of the facility with assistance from the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and the Red Cross.

Jarlette also said the facility would “continue to exercise every measure to support a safe and positive environment at Roberta Place, where all those we serve can achieve their highest potential and live a life of care, compassion, dignity and honour.” 

Jarlette also credited the County of Simcoe, Hospice Huronia and the North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services Program for helping to overcome the outbreak.