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Nine residents of a Barrie long-term care home have died with COVID-19

Officials are looking into whether the UK variant strain of the virus is present in the long-term care home, but it hasn't been confirmed
2021-01-12 Roberta Place RB 2
Roberta Place is located on Essa Road in Barrie's south end.

The following story first ran on BarrieToday.com on Sunday, Jan. 17.

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Another resident at the Roberta Place long-term care home in south-end Barrie has died with a confirmed case COVID-19, bringing the death toll to nine people at the facility. 

That's an increase of one person since Saturday's update. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones who cherished their lives," said Roberta Place community relations co-ordinator Stephanie Barber.

As of Sunday, there are 62 positive cases of the virus among residents at the home, which is up from 49 on Saturday, as well as 43 confirmed cases among team members, which up is from the 40 reported on Saturday. 

BarrieToday also asked if officials were looking at whether the United Kingdom variant of the virus could be present inside the Essa Road long-term care home. 
 
"While we cannot confirm if this is the UK strain of COVID-19, further testing is underway with the support of Public Health," said Barber.
 
On Saturday, she said vaccinations had begun at the facility for both staff and residents in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus.
 
Since the facility-wide outbreak was declared Jan. 8 by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, infection numbers have been steadily increasing in the long-term care home. 
 
Roberta Place has also been receiving outside assistance to help with staffing levels. 

This past week, a Canadian Red Cross team also toured the home and worked in partnership with the long-term care home "to enhance our epidemic control and prevention plan," Barber said yesterday. 

The Roberta Place long-term care home, located near Harvie Road, has 130 beds and 122 staff.