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The Roberta Place Long Term Care and Retirement home is shown in Barrie, Ont., on Jan. 18, 2021.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Six more residents of a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., have died after a yet-to-be-identified variant of COVID-19 was detected at the facility.

Public health officials say the outbreak at Roberta Place has now resulted in a total of 25 deaths.

The local public health unit says 122 residents and 74 staff have been infected with COVID-19 since the outbreak began earlier this month.

Story continues below advertisement

Vaccine delay left Barrie’s Roberta Place home vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreak

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says the unusually rapid spread of the virus at the nursing home prompted officials to test for variants of COVID-19.

Officials are expected to confirm which specific variant was detected at the home in the coming days.

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

Researchers have yet to determine whether any of the new variants are more deadly but the U.K. strain is known to spread much faster.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says it has immunized 21 residents and 235 staff and caregivers at the Barrie home against COVID-19 so far.

Premier Doug Ford appealed to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden today for help securing more COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario. Ford expressed frustration about a delivery slow down of the Pfizer-Biotech shot that will see Ontario receive no doses next week and thousands less over the next month. The Canadian Press

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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