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Eight residents have now died with COVID at Roberta Place during outbreak

With vaccinations beginning Saturday at the long-term care home, official hopes this will create 'an added layer of defence' against the virus
2021-01-12 Roberta Place RB 2
Roberta Place is located on Essa Road in Barrie's south end.

Eight residents at Roberta Place have now died after contracting COVID-19, but vaccinations were administered Saturday at the long-term care home in south-end Barrie in hopes of curbing the rise of the virus in the facility.

Since the Jan. 8 outbreak was declared by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, infection numbers have been steadily increasing. There are currently 49 confirmed cases among residents, which is up from 45 on Friday, and 40 among team members, which is up from 29 since the day before. The eight resident deaths are up from six fatalities that had been reported on Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 43 residents who had tested positive for the virus and 11 staff members, as well as two deaths. 

Roberta Place community relations co-ordinator Stephanie Barber says the long-term care home has received outside assistance in the trying last week to help with staffing levels. 

"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 told BarrieToday.

"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," she added. 

Barber says vaccinations started being administered at Roberta Place on Saturday.

"Public health carried out a vaccination clinic at the home today for residents and team members," Barber said. "We are confident that this is a positive step for all those who live and work at Roberta Place, as the vaccination is an added layer of defence against the COVID-19 virus." 

Barber said infection prevention and control specialists from the Canadian Red Cross have and will continue to assist the long-term care home in containing the virus. 

"At the beginning of the outbreak and with the blessing of public health, Roberta Place reached out to the Canadian Red Cross for assistance," she said. "This past week, the Canadian Red Cross team toured the home and worked with us in partnership to enhance our epidemic control and prevention plan."