The number of people dying with COVID symptoms in care homes rose sharply in the first week of November, according to official data.
In its latest weekly update, the ONS said care home deaths were up by 112 to 280 in the week ending 6 November. The two-thirds increase on the previous week took deaths to their highest level since mid-June.
Year to date analysis shows that 16,422 deaths involving COVID-19 occurred in care homes in England and Wales up to the week ending 6 November.
Deaths involving COVID-19 as a proportion of all deaths in care homes increased to 12.0% from 7.9% in the previous week.
CQC data revealed there were 15,699 death notifications involving COVID-19 in care homes in England between 10 April and 13 November with 374 notifications in the week up to 6 November.
In Wales, the Welsh Government reported 823 deaths of residents in care home involving COVID-19 between 1 March and 6 November.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said the latest increase in deaths was “shocking”.
“The care of older and vulnerable people is once again a front line in the fight against coronavirus and we are going to need concerted action from the public and support from the Government to prevent further losses,” Mike said.
“We appeal to everyone to keep following the lockdown rules. As infection rates go up, death rates are inevitably going to go up too. The only way we can get through this is to get that infection rate down.
“We must never forget that one death from COVID-19 is a death too many and each loss is a tragedy – a loved one, a husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or friend.”