Roberta Place death toll climbs to 49 as health official urges we follow stay-at-home order

More transmissible variant of COVID-19 virus means we must abide by health guidance

The outbreak at Roberta Place in Barrie has claimed more lives.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported three more lives lost to COVID-19 in our region on Wednesday, and two of those were residents of Roberta Place. The long-term care facility confirms there have been 49 deaths there.

According to Roberta Place, there are 128 active cases among residents, and 86 among staff at the facility. The SMDHU has also identified three essential care visitors who have contracted the virus, one of whom has died. There have been 85 household cases contributed to the outbreak at Roberta Place.

The variant has also been detected as part of an outbreak at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health in Penetanguishene, an outbreak involving one patient and one employee of the centre.

The SMDHU recently confirmed the deadly outbreak at Roberta Place involves a more communicable variant of the disease, known as B.1.1.7. Its higher transmission rate has prompted a plea from the SMDHU’s medical officer of health to strictly abide by the provincial stay-at-home order. “This means you are not to go visit your grandchildren; you are not to go visit your grandparents. You are not to go visit your other family members in their home or your friends,” said Dr. Charles Gardner. “We are not to do this right now; this is really important, right now in particular, with this new variant on the cusp of spreading into our community.”

The outbreak at Roberta Place was declared on January 8.