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President of Jarlette addresses 'devastating' outbreak at Roberta Place

President of company that owns Roberta Place pens open letter to residents, family members, staff and community
2021-01-12 Roberta Place RB 1
Roberta Place is located on Essa Road in Barrie's south end.

BarrieToday received the following open letter to the community from David Jarlette, president of the company that owns Roberta Place Long Term Care Home:

To our residents, family members, team members and our community,

I would like to start this correspondence with heartfelt condolences to all those who have been affected by the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak that has transpired at Roberta Place Long Term Care Home.

When we ushered in the New Year, we were hopeful that the knowledge and understanding we had gleaned in 2020, coupled with the introduction of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, would help guide a promising new chapter in the fight against the Pandemic.

Sadly, despite proactive infection prevention and control efforts, we could not prepare for the difficulty and grief that our residents, family members and team members would, unfortunately, be faced with.

Over the course of the past two weeks, Roberta Place Long Term Care Home has been devastatingly impacted by the UK Variant of the COVID-19 virus, which was responsible for a much higher rate of transmission through our facility.

This outbreak has resulted in immense loss and illness amongst our residents and staff. The weight of this tragedy has and continues to be felt by all those affiliated with the home, and for that, we cannot express enough how deeply saddened and apologetic we are.

To date, there has been significant attention and focus on the numbers of those affected by this outbreak and we wish to take this opportunity to remind everyone that those numbers represent so much more than just a statistic.

Those numbers represent the lives of the people we have been called to serve. Those numbers represent the team members, who, despite immense responsibility in the face of adversity, have never given up on their pledge to extend the highest quality of care to our residents, family members and team members. Those numbers represent the countless family members who have navigated fear, uncertainty and sorrow as a result of the rapid onset of this unforgiving virus. Finally, those numbers represent the cherished lives that have been tragically lost as a result of COVID-19.

We acknowledge that the outbreak remains extremely difficult for all impacted and we have a tough road ahead, however, our commitment to our Residents, family members, team members and our community remains steadfast.

Protecting those we serve while supporting their comfort and well-being continues to be our utmost priority, to which we hold ourselves accountable. Be assured that as an organization, we are never too proud to ask for help and will continue to do so as we work in collaboration with our health system partners.

As we continue to move forward, Roberta Place Long Term Care Home is working in close partnership with Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, among many others, to support a cohesive and immediate response to the evolving needs of the home, its residents and team members. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is our lead agency in our outbreak response and recovery efforts.

At this time, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the overwhelming amount of information, news and commentary that has been made available about the status of the home. We continue to uphold our dedication and responsibility to transparent and honest communication.

We encourage you to exercise caution when seeking information regarding Roberta Place Long Term Care Home in the media. Stay informed and remember to review reputable sources such as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, correspondence from Roberta Place Long Term Care Home or Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

On behalf of Roberta Place Long Term Care Home, we will not give up on our unwavering commitment to provide compassion, care, dignity and honour now and for years to come.

With profuse gratitude,

David Jarlette