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Proportion of districts’ care homes with Covid-19 outbreaks revealed

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:31 01 July 2020

Louise Smith, Director of Public Health in Norfolk, has been overseeing testing at all of Norfolk's care homes. Picture: PA/Ella Wilkinson

Louise Smith, Director of Public Health in Norfolk, has been overseeing testing at all of Norfolk's care homes. Picture: PA/Ella Wilkinson

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More than half of care homes in Breckland have reported outbreaks of Covid-19, figures reveal.

Government data compiled by Public Health England shows 30 of the 53 care homes - 56.6pc - in Breckland reported outbreaks between March 16 and June 21.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s director of public health, said: “Testing has been completed for all care homes in Norfolk, with the opportunity to order further tests, should there be concerns about unwell residents or staff.

“We are aware of the percentage of care homes in Breckland that have seen Covid-19 outbreaks.

“The numbers of infections in care homes across Norfolk have been lower than those seen nationally and regionally.

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella WilkinsonLouise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

“Our public health team is examining all the data to ensure that any outbreaks are responded to, and care homes are being supported to ensure that infection control is always of a high standard.”

The second highest percentage of outbreaks reported was in Norwich (40pc or 12 out of 30 care homes had outbreaks), South Norfolk (34.9pc or 15 of its 43 care homes), Broadland (33.3pc or 22 of its 66 care homes), King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (29.8pc or 14 of its 47 care homes), North Norfolk (28.4pc or 19 of its 67 care homes) and Great Yarmouth (24.4pc or 10 of its 41 care homes).

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The pandemic has so far had a far lower impact on care homes than Norfolk County Council officers had earlier feared.

Their modelling had predicted that nine out of every 10 care homes would be hit by the virus.

Dr Smith described it as a “relief” that the figure had been closer to one in three.

ONS data shows that up to June 19, there had been 132 Covid-19 related deaths in Norfolk’s care homes - accounting for 25.9pc of care home deaths during the pandemic. This is lower than the national value of 36pc. There have been 419 Covid-19 deaths in hospital in Norfolk as of June 28.

Any care home where two or more cases have been recorded in either residents or staff count as having had an ‘outbreak’.

Across the east of England, 803 care homes out of a total of 1,723 - 46.6pc - have recorded outbreaks.

Councillor Alison Webb, Breckland’s executive member for health and housing, said: “We’ve been working closely with our partners throughout this pandemic to provide robust support to our communities and businesses.

“While we don’t manage local care homes, we have been signposting these organisations to where they can access PPE in order to help protect vulnerable older people from the virus and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected.”


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