RVH “Rapid Response Team” deployed to Simcoe Manor

COVID-19 outbreak at County-run long-term care facility has claimed four lives

Simcoe Manor and Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre are jointly fighting the COVID-19 outbreak at the County of Simcoe long-term care home in Beeton.

To date, 34 Simcoe Manor residents and 20 staff have tested positive for the virus, and four of those residents who contracted the illness have died.

Jane Sinclair, Simcoe County General Manager of Health and Emergency Services, told County Council on Tuesday that an RVH “Rapid Response Team” was deployed to Simcoe Manor over the weekend, and in conjunction with the County and local health unit is providing assistance in the following areas:

  • Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and workplace safety assessments
  • IPCA training, protocols, practices and audits
  • Comprehensive screening
  • Additional contracted cleaning services
  • Enhanced PPE inventory management, storage and supply processes
  • Further restricting visitation to compassionate visits only

Residents are being tested routinely, but Sinclair said the testing can take up to five days.

“It’s not as quick turnaround as we would like. Some of our tests are coming forward quickly in 24 to 48 hours. However, we are still challenged somewhat with delay because of the amount of volume of tests that are happening.”

Sinclair said RVH has some testing equipment on-site in their acute care setting and they are looking at options to try to expedite some of this ongoing testing to get much quicker turnaround. She said they are hopeful Simcoe Manor will be able to utilize some of the hospital’s processes and equipment to speed things up a bit.

There are currently 124 residents at the facility.

A new information line has been activated for residents’ families (705-812-3877). Families can also email messages to loved ones in the home. The public is encouraged to share messages of support through social media using #StrongerTogether.


The rapid response team has been put in place as the province announced it issued a mandatory management order, appointing RVH as temporary manager of the County’s home. It is expected this order will remain in place for 90 days. This is the fourth time the Ontario government has issued a mandatory management order since the pandemic began.