Ministers have been accused of “leaving our care homes exposed” after figures show care home cases tripled in July.
Analysis of DHSC figures by the Liberal Democrats show there were 14,660 positive COVID tests among care home staff in four weeks to 27 July compared with 4,552 in June.
Cases now stand at their highest since February, with 2,047 care home residents testing positive in the four weeks to 27 July, up from 596 in the previous month.
The figures also show 78% of staff in care homes have now received two doses of the vaccine, while 93.5% of care home residents have received both doses.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said: “Conservative Ministers have taken their eyes off the ball again leaving our care homes exposed to skyrocketing cases. They should be ashamed.
“Their claims of a protective ring around care homes was a disgraceful lie and now we’re seeing again why this shambolic government can’t be trusted to protect our vulnerable loved ones.
“The Conservatives’ abject failure to protect care home residents and staff throughout this whole pandemic has been one of the biggest tragedies. It must not continue.”
The latest figures published by the ONS last week show care home COVID deaths at a three-month high with 38 recorded in the week ending 30 July, up from 22 in the previous week.
Press reports have, meanwhile, revealed that the Government is considering making booster shots compulsory for care home staff with legislation requiring workers to be fully vaccinated to come into force on 11 November.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have done all we can to protect vulnerable people in adult social care. We have provided billions of pounds to support the sector including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, additional testing and priority vaccinations.
“As a result, 94.4% of older adult care home residents have now had two vaccine doses in England, providing them with vital protection against hospitalisation and serious illness from the virus.
“The vaccines are saving lives, especially for the most vulnerable – preventing 84,600 deaths, 66,900 hospitalisations and 23 million infections in England alone.”