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Eight deaths linked to virus at Ipswich care homes as total in Suffolk rises to 23

PUBLISHED: 09:35 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:29 21 April 2020

Two residents at Asterbury Place have died after contracting Covid-19 Picture: ARCHANT

Two residents at Asterbury Place have died after contracting Covid-19 Picture: ARCHANT

Four people have died with suspected coronavirus infections at the same Ipswich care home, as the number of deaths linked to the disease at another home reached seven.

Two residents from Handford House, in Cumberland Street, Ipswich, tested positive for Covid-19 and died in hospital.

A further two people died at the home with suspected coronavirus infections, though tests are yet to confirm this.

Another resident is currently in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

MORE: Drive-through coronavirus testing centre opens near A14

Two residents from Asterbury Place, in Aster Road, Ipswich, have also tested positive for Covid-19 and died in hospital.

Four deaths have been linked to the coronavirus at Handford House Care Home Picture: ARCHANTFour deaths have been linked to the coronavirus at Handford House Care Home Picture: ARCHANT

And two people living at Bucklesham Grange Care Home, in Purdis Farm, have also died in hospital after contracting Covid-19.

Another resident died at Britten Court in Lowestoft over the weekend, bringing the total number of deaths from suspected coronavirus infections there to seven.

It comes as eight deaths at Finborough Court care home, which occurred over a fortnight, were linked to the virus.

MORE: Eight deaths at care home linked to coronavirus

Seven people have now died with suspected coronavirus infections at Britten Court in Lowestoft Picture: CARE UKSeven people have now died with suspected coronavirus infections at Britten Court in Lowestoft Picture: CARE UK

Testing has not been widely available in care homes, and so the true death toll and number of infections is likely to be higher than what is currently being reported.

However, the above five care homes have so far reported 23 deaths between them.

Katherine Foley, Healthcare Homes regional director which runs Handford House, said: “Strict safety and infection control procedures are being followed in all our homes, in accordance with our contingency plan and Public Health England’s guidance, to prevent spread of the virus.

“I would like to extend my condolences to the families and friends of those that have passed away and to also thank our teams for their amazing dedication, continued professionalism and compassionate care in these challenging times. I can’t thank them enough.”

Finborough Court in Great Finborough, where eight people have died from suspected coronavirus infections Picture: GOOGLE MAPSFinborough Court in Great Finborough, where eight people have died from suspected coronavirus infections Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

MORE: Coronavirus deaths in care homes could add 20% on Suffolk figure, says care leader

Meanwhile Care UK’s regional director for Suffolk, Phillip Steyn, said of the Britten Court and Asterbury Place deaths: “My thoughts and condolences are with all the families who have been affected by these deaths.

“All Care UK homes have appropriate PPE which is being used in line with the guidance for care homes given by Public Health England and the NHS.

“Residents are being asked to stay in their rooms and those who are showing even the slightest symptom of coronavirus are being cared for using a technique known as barrier nursing to minimise the risk of infection passing to colleagues or other residents.”

Bucklesham Grange owner Hallmark Care Homes expressed “great sadness” at the deaths but said there were no confirmed Covid-19 cases within the home.

A new coronavirus drive through testing facility has been created at the London Road Park and Ride car park near the Copdock Interchange in Ipswich  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA new coronavirus drive through testing facility has been created at the London Road Park and Ride car park near the Copdock Interchange in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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It comes amid news that after initial shortages in Suffolk care homes, PPE stock levels in the Suffolk County Council cell are meeting demand, the authority said yesterday.

Of the 134 requests from residential care homes across Suffolk, all have been fulfilled.

It comes as testing for care homes is due to be rolled out in the next few days, with care workers able to be tested at facilities in Ipswich (Copdock park and ride), Beccles and Stansted Airport.

• All the latest coronavirus news in your area can be found here.

Beccy Hopfensperger (bottom left), adult care cabinet member at Suffolk County Council, said the authority lobbied government to get care homes PPE Pictures: ULTIMATE CARE UK/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTOBeccy Hopfensperger (bottom left), adult care cabinet member at Suffolk County Council, said the authority lobbied government to get care homes PPE Pictures: ULTIMATE CARE UK/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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