A further 1,817 COVID related deaths have been recorded in England and Wales in the latest weekly statistics published by the ONS.
The figures for the week ending 22 January mark a 546 rise in deaths in the previous week, the biggest jump since mid-May. Weekly coronavirus deaths in care homes are now at the highest level since early May.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for nearly half (46.6%) of all deaths in care homes, up from 36.0% in the previous week.
On a year to date basis, COVID deaths stand at 24,709 in England and Wales.
CQC figures show there were 24,919 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 10 April 2020 and 29 January 2021. Of these, 1,790 were notified in the week up to 29 January.
Care Inspectorate Wales recorded 1,470 COVID deaths of residents between 1 March 2020 and 15 January 2021.
The latest shocking rise comes after the government announced that it had reached its target of offering vaccinations to all care homes.
Concerns remain over the number of care home staff vaccinated, however. HC-One told CHP that while 86% of its residents had been offered vaccines as of Friday night across England, Scotland and Wales, the figure for staff was 58%.
HC-One said 6% of staff had declined jabs but said that people initially refusing vaccinations later changed their minds once their peers had been vaccinated.
Speaking during a visit to a jab centre in Batley, West Yorkshire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there had a “big increase” in staff vaccinations, the Press Association reported.
When asked if care staff vaccinations should be stepped up, the PM said: “We’re working fast to sort it out and we’re now seeing a big increase in uptake in care home staff and that’s a great thing to see, and I’ve seen in the last few weeks a big increase in the receptivity of care home staff to the vaccinations.”
Managers of any care home for older people that has not yet been vaccinated should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.