No new coronavirus outbreaks in Harrogate care homes in almost a month, figures show

Care homes in Harrogate have reported no new coronavirus outbreaks for three weeks in a row, latest figures show.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 1:56 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 2:36 pm

Thirty four of the 71 care homes - which includes residential homes, nursing homes, rehabilitation units and assisted living units - have seen a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 outbreak since March 9.

This equates to 47.9 per cent of the facilities in the borough.

But the good news is that no new outbreaks have been recorded since the week commencing 25 May.

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Just under half of Harrogate's 71 care homes have reported a virus outbreak during the pandemic. Photo: Adobe.

And it comes as today, Friday, the UK's coronavirus alert level has been downgraded from four to three.

It means the virus is now considered to be "in general circulation". Previously transmission was considered to be "high or rising exponentially".

As of June 5, there have been a total of 83 deaths linked to the virus in the district's care homes.

This is four more than the 79 coronavirus deaths that have been confirmed at Harrogate District Hospital.

Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said a lack of rapid testing from the government put care homes in a "really difficult and challenging position" at the peak of the pandemic.

But where testing has been made available, it has been used to segregate infected and non-infected staff and residents.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of public health for North Yorkshire, said "mini lockdowns" have also been imposed on some care homes to control outbreaks.

"We try to ensure that there is no movement in and out of that care home until we have the situation under control", he explained.

"Part of what we do sometimes is to test the whole setting because we know that a number of cases may not develop symptoms in the classical way.

"We try to pick up all the cases we can and within care home settings we segregate the cases from those who are free from infection.

"If we do those things well, that is probably going to be the pattern we will continue to see".

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

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