Reading has had outbreaks of coronavirus in 58% of its care homes, according to data from Public Health England (PHE).
Most of the outbreaks occurred in the first two weeks of April, but these have slowed down, to none in the most recent recorded week, up to 11 May 2020. In total, Reading has had outbreaks in 19 of its 33 care homes.
In neighbouring boroughs, Wokingham has had outbreaks in 50% of its care homes (26 out of 52), while West Berkshire has had them in one-third (15 out of 46), the PHE data shows.
An outbreak is defined as two or more positive Covid-19 infections in a care home.
Other figures show the number of people who had sadly passed away in care homes, up to 8 May 2020, where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, was 51 for Reading, 61 for Wokingham and 60 for West Berkshire. In hospital, 71 Reading people had died with coronavirus during the same period.
Reading Borough Council leader, councillor Jason Brock, answered a question submitted by Healthwatch Reading on the topic of care homes to the council’s policy committee held online on 18 May. In his written reply, he said the council was “not complacent about the local situation and support for these most vulnerable residents”.
Opportunities for residents to see family had sometimes been possible via safe outdoors spaces or via technology, Councillor Brock added.
The Care Quality Commission says in a new report that there has been ‘an increase in care home managers suffering from distress due to multiple deaths [of residents] and financial worries’. Some managers have been told they had invalidated their insurance if they accepted Coivd-19 positive people into their homes. If they can’t re-insure, they may have to move residents to other homes.
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