Almost 2,000 COVID-related care home deaths were recorded in England and Wales in the week ending 29 January.
In its latest weekly update, the ONS recorded 1,971 COVID-related deaths, up by 154 on the week earlier.
In a small glimmer of hope, the rate of increase in the latest weekly data is much reduced on the previous three weeks, however, indicating that the surge in infections last month might be abating.
On a year to date basis, there were 26,680 COVID-related deaths recorded in care homes up to 29 January.
CQC data showed there were 26,299 deaths of residents involving COVID-19 in care homes in England between 10 April 2020 and 5 February 2021. Of these 1,365 were notified in the week ending 5 February.
Care Inspectorate Wales reported 1,709 resident deaths between 1 March 2020 and 29 January 2021.
Independent Care Group (ICG) Chair Mike Padgham said: “Whilst we pray that these numbers will soon start to fall, we cannot forget that COVID-19 is still taking a terrible toll amongst the most vulnerable.
“This second wave has been every bit as devastating as the first and we cannot let up in our fight against coronavirus.
“People are starting to talk about routes out of COVID-19 and the lockdowns, but for those caring for our oldest and most vulnerable, we are still at a critical point in this fight.
“The vaccine is now playing its part but until everyone is protected, we have to keep observing the rules and keeping everyone safe.”