The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has issued an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for “temporary leadership” of Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home in Barrie by Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH).

An outbreak at the LTC was declared on January 8th when one resident tested positive. Since 63 residents and 53 staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19. Nine people have died because of the virus during the outbreak.

The order allows OSMH to help lead the facility and work with other organizations like the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to provide assistance. 

“The residents and staff at Roberta Place have been hit very hard with this current COVID-19 outbreak and our thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time,” SMDHU’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said. “In consultation with the facility, we have determined that the support of OSMH is essential. This outbreak unfortunately has spread very rapidly and affected a large number of the residents and staff. The leadership of OSMH, together with a number of other agencies and organizations, is necessary to bring it under control.”

As of Monday afternoon, SMDHU says all staff at the facility have been tested for the virus. They are also checking to see if the new UK variant of the virus is part of the outbreak.