Nine coronavirus-linked deaths in Northamptonshire care homes were recorded during a five-day period last week, according to latest figures published today (Tuesday).
The Office for National Statistics today published data showing the deaths between Monday (November 23) and Friday.
Numbers reflect deaths reported by the Care Quality Commission and was notified by the care home operator as involving Covid-19
Care homes in the county had seen 159 coronavirus deaths among residents since the start of the pandemic, although only eight of those had occurred since the beginning of November.
Last week's Public Health Northamptonshire surveillance report revealed active outbreaks in 16 county care homes — where two or more cases were linked by time or place within the last 28 days — involving 164 cases.
The county's Public Health Director Lucy Wightman has admitted the number of positive tests among over-60s — which includes those in care homes — is an ongoing concern.
New Government guidance allowing visits from loved ones for care home residents during the lockdown was issued at the beginning of November.
The Department of Health and Social Care said homes will have a set of “clear principles for how visits are conducted – with arrangements to be adapted from home to home, based on residents’ needs and accounting for care homes’ varying layouts and facilities”.
These could include Covid-secure visiting areas or pods with floor-to-ceiling screens and windows that don’t require visitors to enter the main body of the care home.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: "I know how heart-breaking and incredibly frustrating it has been for families and friends who haven’t been able to see their loved ones during the pandemic.
"Care homes should feel empowered by this new guidance to look at safe options to allow visits to care homes that suit their residents and facilities.
"We’ve seen some really innovative solutions used to help families see each other safely, face-to-face, which has been life-changing for some.
"It is vital high quality, compassionate care and infection control remains at the heart of every single care home to protect staff and resident’s lives, but we must allow families to reunite in the safest way possible."