Coronavirus: Seventeen die at care home in two weeks

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Woodlands Care CentreImage source, Google
Image caption,
The people were residents of Woodlands Care Centre in Cambridge

Seventeen people have died at a care home over a two-week period in the coronavirus pandemic.

All were residents at Woodlands Care Centre in Cambridge, which has more than 100 beds.

Two people at the home tested positive for Covid-19 - one of whom has died - while the other 16 who died were not tested.

Owners Ranc Care Homes said many of those who had died in the 14 days up to Saturday were on end-of-life pathways.

Chief operating officer, Stephen Andrew Rees, said staff "have been doing an amazing job providing excellent and compassionate care and support, whilst also grieving the loss of residents".

The home provides care to those who require nursing or personal care, including those with dementia.

The other person who tested positive for the virus has fully recovered.

Image caption,
Two people tested positive for the virus at the care home

Mr Rees said the home would "continue to ensure all of our staff have sufficient personal protective equipment [PPE]" along with "safe admission" and infection control policies.

The government has promised to step up testing for coronavirus in care homes where symptoms of the virus have been found.

The number of deaths has been difficult to calculate, with more than 15,000 care homes in England, compared with about 200 hospitals.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics for the week ending 10 April showed 1,042 Covid-19-related deaths in care homes, but the National Care Forum suggests the figure could be much higher.

The Labour MP for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner, said: "My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones to this horrible virus.

"I pay tribute to the staff and all those who have been doing their best in difficult circumstances, but it is increasingly clear that there is an unfolding crisis in care homes across the country, and there are important questions to be answered."

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