‘Worrying situation’ – 45 people test positive for coronavirus at Hadleigh care home

More than 40 people have tested positive for coronavirus at a care home in Hadleigh, in what public health bosses describe as a “worrying situation”.

A total of 33 members of staff and 12 residents have tested positive for the virus at Magdalen House, Public Health Suffolk has confirmed.

Staff affected have been self-isolating, while regular testing of everyone who lives and works at the home is now taking place.

A Public Health Suffolk spokeswoman said it is “clearly a worrying situation”, but stressed Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and other local health organisations are working with the home to ensure “swift and efficient management”.

“This is clearly a worrying situation and we continue to monitor the situation and work with the care home and Suffolk partners to ensure the safety of staff and residents,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the home said the safety of residents remains their number one priority.

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

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“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.”

Ms Fairburn-Dorai added that she is confident the second coronavirus wave will not hit care homes as badly as the first did.

So far, 201 care home residents in Suffolk are confirmed to have died after contracting the virus.

“We know a lot more about what to do now,” she said. “Things are much better now we are working together as a team with the councils and public health organisations.

“We are all coming up with ideas and protocols and the support care homes are receiving is good.”

Hadleigh currently has the highest seven-day coronavirus case rate in the county at 287 per 100,000 in the week to November 4.

Town mayor Frank Minns said the care home outbreak should serve as a reminder to people to follow the rules while out and about.

Mr Minns said: “Of course it is worrying, but it emphasises that these things can come out of the blue and very quickly.

“If the virus is out there than we all need to stick to the rules to stop things getting worse.”

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