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COVID-19 deaths in care homes pass the 10,000 mark, ONS

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More than 10,000 people have died with COVID-19 symptoms in care homes in England and Wales, the ONS has said.

In its latest weekly update, which incorporates figures provided by the CQC and Care Inspectorate Wales, the ONS said 9,762 people had died with coronavirus symptoms in England up to May 15 with a further 392 deaths in Wales.

In ONS data covering the week ending May 8, while the number of deaths as a percentage of all fatalities in care homes continued to rise to 39.2% compared with 37.8% in the previous week, the actual number of deaths continued to decline, falling to 1,666 from 2,423 the previous week and 2,800 the week before that.

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ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures, allied to those of the previous weeks, do give us some cautious optimism that we are getting past the worst of coronavirus.

“However, we are still fearful that the relaxation of some of the lockdown measures might send figures up again and create a second spike.”

The ICG says providers are still facing issues with getting personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper testing.

Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA, echoed Mike’s concern about the possibility of a second spike created by easing lockdown restrictions.

“Our fear since last week has been that with the easing of restrictions we will see numbers of people infected in the general population increase with a knock on effect to the vulnerability of those in the care sector,” he said.

“This, at a time when we don’t yet have routine regular testing for all our residents and staff and we are using our charity reserves to buy PPE on the open market to keep our staff and residents safe. Like the rest of the sector, the future is an incredibly uncertain place in terms of the ongoing impact on our homes and our financial resilience.”

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The author Lee Peart

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