LISTOWEL, ONT. -- At least 19 seniors who live at Listowel’s Caressant Care Long-Term Care Home are now sleeping elsewhere, after being removed from the home due to a COVID-19 outbreak affecting two-thirds of residents and at least 28 staff.

“They have been removed due to the fact they require an increased level of care or because of capacity issues. There’s an increased workload in the facility which requires a lot of staff, so some have been moved to ensure they get the basic level of care that they need,” says Huron Perth Public Health’s top doctor, Dr. Miriam Klassen.

With exactly 100 cases affecting staff and residents, and now seven deaths, the Listowel Caressant Care case count is Huron-Perth’s largest outbreak to date, surpassing the 74 COVID-19 positive staff and residents at Cedarcroft Place in Stratford, in Nov. 2020.

The 100 cases in Listowel and another 107 at Arthur’s Caressant Care Home has raised the ire of the local MPP.

Randy Pettapiece, Perth-Wellington’s provincial representative, says “The outbreaks at Caressant Care in Arthur and Listowel are very concerning.

"To make sure the province fully understands the seriousness of this situation, I’ve written the minister of Long-Term Care and minister of Seniors and Accessibility. I have urged them to make available every necessary resource to address the ongoing situation in these homes.”

Karl Ellis, CEO of hospitals in Wingham and Listowel taking in many of Listowel’s Caressant Care residents, says they’ve got a plan to bring the outbreak under control.

“We believe that between moving patients out of that facility and the extra staffing that’s been brought in, that we’ve stabilized the situation in that home,” says Ellis.

It’s expected the movement or 'decanting' of Listowel’s Caressant Care residents will continue throughout the weekend.

Listowel Caressant Care residents and some staff, who have not yet tested positive, received the vaccine on Tuesday.

Huron Perth Public Health expects to have all long-term care residents vaccinated with first doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine by Jan. 27.