Hampshire health bosses say they will 'remain extremely vigilant' as weekly care home deaths from Covid-19 drop to lowest level
'THE signs are now more positive' - health bosses say they will 'remain extremely vigilant' as the number of weekly care home deaths linked to coronavirus in Hampshire has dropped to its lowest figure yet.
Data released today (June 16) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed between June 6 and June 12 there were three Covid-19 deaths in care homes in the Hampshire County Council area.
This is a decrease from 15 the week before, and a significant overall decline compared to other weeks when the numbers were as high as 81 in seven days.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, adult social care and health boss at Hampshire County Council, said: 'Whilst we remain extremely vigilant, the signs are now more positive, not only for our own homes but for those throughout the whole of Hampshire.
'In the county council’s own care homes we are now at pre-coronavirus levels in terms of the number of residents passing away – indeed we have not had any Covid-19 related deaths since the end of May.
'All our staff and residents have been tested for the virus in the past fortnight and we will continue with regular whole-home testing according to guidance from Public Health England.
'New residents transferring from hospital are being routinely tested before they come to us, and remain in isolation for the first 14 days of their stay to protect them and other residents. '
However, Hampshire has still seen the most care home deaths out of any county in England with 380 since records started on April 10.
That means out of 1,029 total care home deaths in Hampshire in that time, 36.9 per cent have been related to coronavirus – which is slightly less than the percentage across England which was 37.2 per cent.
Between June 6 and 12 there were no care home deaths linked to Covid-19 in Portsmouth for the fourth week – leaving its total as 37.
Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for health, Cllr Matthew Winnington, said: 'This is more very good news and it's very encouraging. I'd like to pay tribute to care home staff, residents and families for their amazing response to the crisis we have faced.
'However, we're not getting complacent and we'll continue to work to support infection control in all care homes in the city.'
There were four deaths in Southampton between June 6 and 12, meaning there have been 56 in total.
The number of care home deaths also decreased nationally. There were 266 in England in that week, creating a total since April 10 of 11,880. In April there had been as many as 657 care home deaths linked to Covid-19 in just one day.
Some of the weekly figures increase in later data releases when more deaths from the period are notified to CQC.
The number of coronavirus deaths recorded at QA Hospital in Portsmouth is currently at 229.