A temporary ban on non-essential care home visits has been announced by Birmingham City Council after a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
The decision came after the coronavirus infection rate rose above the set threshold of 14 cases per 100,000 population.
Care homes were informed of the new restriction on Friday, 14 August by Director of Public Health, Dr Justin Varney.
Councillor Paulette Hamilton said: “In line with national guidelines, the Director of Public Health has looked at the emerging concern about cases rises in Birmingham and decided to stop visiting of both older adult and learning disabilities/physical disabilities care homes as a short-term measure to protect our most vulnerable.
“We know what the risks are if COVID-19 spreads into care homes, so this is a pre-emptive step to protect our elderly. If the case numbers fall, then this restriction will be lifted, and this relies on what all of us do over the coming days and weeks to prevent the spread of the virus.”
The council said visits to people approaching end of life would be considered essential provided appropriate risk assessments and precautions were taken.
Alison Mulligan, manager of Harborne Lane Specialist Care Centre, told ITV that residents and staff had been disappointed by the news with a lot of effort having been put into enabling outdoor visits.
“The infection rate is rising,” Alison added. “We need to take responsibility, we need to take heed. Always err on the side of caution, that’s how I personally feel so I am supportive of it.”