Covid outbreaks more than double across Suffolk care homes

PUBLISHED: 20:25 22 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:22 23 November 2020

Magdalen House care home in Hadleigh had a recent outbreak  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Magdalen House care home in Hadleigh had a recent outbreak Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

The number of coronavirus outbreaks across care homes in Suffolk has more than doubled over the past three weeks, latest figures have revealed.

Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care Picture: SIMON LEE/SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILRebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care Picture: SIMON LEE/SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Suffolk County Council statistics up to November 19 showed there were 16 Covid outbreaks in the county’s care homes, compared with seven in the week up to October 28.

The latest November 19 figures showed there had been eight care home outbreaks in East Suffolk, five in Babergh, two in West Suffolk and one in Ipswich.

So far, 207 care home residents in Suffolk are confirmed to have died after contracting the virus.

The care providers are responsible for managing Covid-19 in their homes, but organisations across Suffolk work in partnership to help prevent and respond to outbreaks.

The county council said residents and staff are tested regularly in all homes, and if one case is identified – the whole home is tested immediately.

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Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council, said: “Suffolk County Council continues to work closely with care home providers to ensure that correct prevention measures are in place and that any outbreaks are dealt with swiftly and thoroughly.

“This support is delivered in partnership with other organisations across Suffolk, including Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk, the CCGs and district and borough councils.

“Sadly, we are seeing an increase of cases in care homes which follows the regional trend, but our knowledge of how these cases are transmitted is much greater through our test and trace provision and also our understanding of the virus so we are able to put immediate support in place.”

More than 40 people tested positive for coronavirus at a care home in Hadleigh nearly two weeks ago.

A total of 33 members of staff and 12 residents tested positive for the virus at Magdalen House.

Speaking at the time, Prema Fairburn-Dorai, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Independent Care Providers, described the outbreak as “unfortunate” and added that the risk will always be there in care homes.

“Staff wear PPE indoors and follow all the protocols, but you can’t control the world outside the care home,” she said.

“I can assure you that all care staff wear PPE and stick to the rules as this is people’s lives we’re talking about – not just of their patients, but of fellow staff and the business.”

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