The number of people dying in care homes in England and Wales with COVID-19 symptoms fell to a five-month at the beginning of September.
The latest ONS data, covering the week ending September 4, shows there were 17 COVID-19 deaths in care homes in England and Wales, down from 23 in the week earlier, marking the lowest fatality rate since the onset of the pandemic at the end of March.
Year to date analysis shows there were 15,501 COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to 4 September.
Deaths in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care homes decreased from 1.3% to 1.1% in the week.
CQC data revealed there were 14,232 notifications of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England between 10 April and 11 September, with 21 notifications in the week up to 11 September.
Care Inspectorate Wales reported 506 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 17 March and 11 September.
The latest ONS data comes after the government wrote to care homes last week warning them of a rise in infection rates.
Stuart Miller, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery Department of Health and Social Care, issued a letter on Friday urging care homes to conduct weekly testing and maintain correct and consistent usage of PPE in light of the higher rate of infection.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation The Independent Care Group, said: “Of course a fall in the death rate is very welcome but we remain concerned about the ongoing infection rates, which show around 3,000 people a day contracting the virus.
“We are also receiving reports of cases increasing in care and nursing homes and we have to remain cautious.
“We are continuing to remind all care providers of the need to practice careful hygiene, social distancing and use of PPE, as well as following the testing regime.
“The dangers in care and nursing homes have not gone away and our need for support is as great as ever.”