U.K. variant of COVID behind deadly outbreak at Barrie long-term care home

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Health officials say a U.K. variant of COVID-19 is behind a deadly outbreak at a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., north of Toronto.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says genome sequencing on six COVID-19 samples from Roberta Place Retirement Lodge have been identified as the highly contagious variant.

The local health unit announced earlier this week that they had found a variant at the home and were conducting tests to determine what it was.

Known variant strains of the virus were first detected in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.

An outbreak at Roberta Place was first declared on Jan. 8.

A news release says as of Friday, 124 of 127 residents, and 84 staff were positive for the virus, resulting in 29 deaths.