Another 17 Northamptonshire care home residents die with Covid-19

At least 66 Northants care homes have had an outbreak of the deadly virus

Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 12:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 3:06 pm
17 people have died in the past week (up until May 8) with the virus.

Covid-19 is still devastating the county’s care homes with another 17 residents sadly dying with the virus last week.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics today (May 12) show the death toll in the county’s care homes between Saturday, May 2 and last Friday (May 8).

The 17 recent deaths come after 18 care home residents died in the previous week (to May 1) and takes the total number of Covid-19 related care home deaths in Northants to 81.

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Altogether last week 48 residents died in the county’s care homes. Out of the county's 250 care homes at least 66 have suffered an outbreak.

Nationally the number of deaths in care homes in the week up to May 8 was 1,503, down from 2,200 the previous week last week, suggesting that Covid-19 deaths may now be declining.

Northamptonshire County Council, public health and health bodies have been working with the care homes to give them instruction on infection control and help out with sourcing personal protective equipment.

A hardship fund has also been set up and has so far given out more than £200,000 to help care homes cover the excess costs of the pandemic, which has led to more cleanliness measures and social distancing for residents.

However there are concerns about testing as only staff with symptoms are being sent for tests. Some people can be asymptomatic and carry the virus without showing any outward signs of infection.

Lynne Goodman’s husband Alex, 78, is a resident at Cheaney Court in Desborough, which has had an outbreak of the virus.

Mrs Goodman has nothing but praise for the care her husband has received at the home but is concerned that all staff have not been tested for the virus, which has been confirmed by the home’s manager Alan Hood.

She says she and other residents’ families are concerned about the welfare of the staff and those who live there.

She has written to Kettering MP Philip Hollobone with her concerns who wrote back repeating the government’s line that all staff are prioritised for testing.

She said: “My husband has been tested and was negative, but what about the staff? I know some are anxious and they should be having regular testing to keep themselves and the residents safe.”

Lack of testing capacity has been a criticism levelled at the government for many weeks now. A target of 100,000 tests per day has not been met and some tests have even had to be sent to America due to failures at one of the UK labs.

So far just over 32,000 people in the UK have died of Covid 19, making it the second worst country in the world to have been affected by the pandemic. There are fears the actual death toll is much higher, due to the number of excess deaths in the country than would normally be expected.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the total number of deaths in care homes related to Covid-19 was 78. The number is 81.

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