As Covid-19 deaths in care and nursing homes continue to fall it remains vital that safeguards, including those around resumed visits, are maintained, providers warn.
Figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 510 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to February 26, down from 776 the previous week.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the latest fall in care and nursing home deaths gives grounds for optimism, but ICG chair, Mike Padgham warned that we must remain on guard.
‘We have to stay vigilant and ensure that safety measures remain in place, particularly now that homes have resumed relative visiting again and other restrictions are being relaxed, including children returning to school.
‘Latest figures are optimistic, but we have seen before how infections and deaths can suddenly rise again.
‘Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and it is still claiming the lives of our loved ones, we must remain on our guard.’
‘We all wanted to see the return of visiting and to witness residents being reunited with their loved ones has been very special this week.
‘At the same time, we must manage it properly, remain on our guard and return to normality slowly and carefully for the sake of the vulnerable in our care.’
Care home residents are now able to nominate a single named visitor who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits.
The Department of Health and Social Care said these visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits.
Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging
Health bosses said it is not a condition of visiting that the visitor or the resident should have been vaccinated. However, it is strongly recommended that all visitors and residents take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when they are invited to do so through the national programme.
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