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BREAKING NEWS: Speed of decline in care home COVID deaths slows in March

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The rate of decline in care home COVID-19 deaths has slowed, according to the latest figures published by the ONS.

In its latest weekly update, the ONS reported 128 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England and Wales in the week ending 26 March down by 23 on the previous week.

On a year-to-date basis, there were 31,814 deaths in care homes up to the week ending 26 March.

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Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 6.8% of deaths, down from 8.2% in the week earlier.

The CQC reported 28,963 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes between 10 April 2020 and 1 April 2021, with 58 notified between 27 March 2021 and 1 April 2021.

Care Inspectorate Wales reported 1,920 deaths of residents involving COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 26 March 2021.

The slowing rate of decline in COVID care home deaths reflects a plateauing of infections nationally revealed today by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI.

The study of over 140,000 volunteers tested in England between 11 and 30 March shows that infections fell by around 60% from the last REACT study in February with only 1 in 500 people infected, with deaths also down since the vaccination roll-out and ‘Stay at Home’ rules enforcement.

However, the research also observed that the speed of decline started to plateau from mid-March reinforcing the need to continue to follow government guidelines.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said: “We have seen a gratifying fall in infections since our last survey in February, with infections dropping by around 60% overall. This is hugely encouraging and shows we’re headed in the right direction.

“However, in our most recent data there has been a flattening off in the infection rate with an R number now around one. This shows that we need to continue to approach the situation with caution and keep sticking to the rules.”

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The author Lee Peart

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