The number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales rose again in January as the government steps up plans to vaccinate every resident by the end of the month.
The latest ONS figures show there were 560 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England and Wales in the week ending 1 January, up from 530 on the previous week.
On a year to date basis, there were 20,661 deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to 1 January.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for over a quarter of deaths in care homes.
CQC data showed 20,042 deaths of residents in care homes between 10 April 2020 and 8 January 2021. Of these, 824 were notified in the week up to 8 January.
In Wales, the Care Inspectorate reported 1,269 deaths of care home residents between 1 March 2020 and 1 January 2021.
The latest figures came after Public Health England data revealed the number of care home outbreaks doubled in a fortnight at the end of 2020.
New outbreaks continued to be reported, including Trengrouse care home in Helston, Cornwall, operated by Cornwall Care and Louisebrae in Tulloch, Perth, Scotland, where the outbreak occurred despite people at the home having been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to vaccinate all care home residents by the end of this month.
Speaking last night, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “Almost a quarter of older care home residents have now received their first dose of the vaccine. We are committed to reaching every care home resident this month.
“And I want to see as much of that as possible as soon as possible. I’m incredibly grateful to everybody working in social care.
“Whether in care homes, or domiciliary care, for everything they are doing to keep the people who are the most vulnerable to COVID, to keep them safe right now.
“This is not easy, but it is vital. And it is vital too that when the vaccine reaches your care home, everyone, everyone, residents and staff alike steps forward and gets that jab.”