NDP calling for army, Red Cross help after all residents at Barrie LTC infected with COVID-19 Dee Burman

Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for the army and the Red Cross to be deployed to a Barrie long-term care home after reports of a massive COVID-19 outbreak.

The province’s website says Roberta Place has 50 infected residents, 40 infected staff and 8 deaths.

However, as per an NDP release, physicians at the facility say 100 per cent of the 122 residents and almost all staff are infected, possibly making it the largest outbreak in a long-term care setting in Ontario.

Horwath called on Premier Doug Ford to respond to the urgent situation at the facility and others across the province.

“We’re asking Doug Ford not to let these people continue to suffer without the province doing anything to ease their struggle and help save lives,” she said in the release.

RELATED: Annex LTC home dealing with province’s largest COVID-19 outbreak

Earlier this month, the St. George Care Community in Toronto was believed to be the worst hit in Ontario, reporting that 97 of their 140 residents were infected at some point during their outbreak. The facility, like Roberta Place, is a for-profit home.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said it is time to end for-profit long-term care homes in Ontario.

He attended a rally outside St. George Care Community last weekend where he called on the federal government to be more proactive when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks in homes — including deploying military help if necessary.

RELATED: Jagmeet Singh calls for end to for-profit LTC homes at St. George centre rally

“We can’t just react when a problem occurs, we can’t just react when there’s an increase in infection rate, we have to be proactive,” he said at the time. “One of the key steps that everyone agrees [is] that profit is clearly resulting in horrible conditions for seniors and we can’t allow that to continue.”

According to provincial data, 246 of the 626 long-term care homes in Ontario are currently experiencing outbreaks of the virus.

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