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New figures put care home COVID-19 death toll at 20,000

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Almost 20,000 care home residents have died with COVID-19, according to new figures published by the ONS.

The figures released today show that 19,394 care home residents have died with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

ICG Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show the true, grim reality of COVID-19 – behind every statistic is a human tragedy – a mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister or friend who has been lost.”

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The figures were published along with the findings of a COVID-19 surveillance study of 9,081 care homes, which found that more than half (56%) of care homes had been infected.

The study, which is part of the wider Vivaldi project, estimated that 20% of residents had tested COVID-19 positive at infected homes, along with 7% of staff.

Trends at homes with higher infection rates included the greater use of bank or agency staff. High infection rates were also noted in London, the West Midlands, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber.

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician, said: “These are the first results from the Vivaldi study, a large-scale survey which looked specifically at infections in care homes which provide care for people with dementia and older people across England. From this we’ve estimated that over half of these care homes have had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst their staff and residents.

“Future work will include more detailed analysis and will incorporate COVID-19 test results from the whole care home testing programme.”

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The author Lee Peart

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