Eight coronavirus-related deaths in Dacorum care homes over two week period
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Eight more coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in care homes in Dacorum over the last fortnight, figures reveal.
Of those 55 occurred outside hospital – including 36 in care homes, up from the 28 registered two weeks earlier.
There were 11 deaths at private homes, and a further eight deaths in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.
The figures include deaths that occurred up to January 15 but were registered up to eight days later.
Across England and Wales, 98,100 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to January 23.
Of those, 1,271 occurred in care homes in the seven days to January 15, more than double the 560 reported two weeks earlier.
Care leaders say the latest figures demonstrate the "awful toll" of the pandemic on care homes nationally.
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, which represents providers in York and North Yorkshire, said the virus is "still claiming too many lives".
He said: "We must never lose sight of the fact that every loss is a loved one – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, or a friend.
"At the start of the pandemic there is no doubt that care and nursing homes did not get the protection they needed and were at the back of the queue when it came to getting access to personal protective equipment and proper testing, which might explain why the sector has suffered so much."
Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives and Residents Association, a national charity for older people needing care, said: "These are heart-breaking figures which belie the ‘protective ring’ the Government claim to have thrown around care homes.
"These figures will be alarming and concerning for residents and their relatives, but also frustrating given the sacrifices families are making around contact, yet the virus is still getting into care homes."
Meanwhile, National Care Forum executive director Vic Rayner said it is "vital" the public continue to stick to lockdown rules and curb the spread of the virus.
In the two weeks to January 23, in Dacorum:
> Deaths outside hospital increased by 15, climbing to a total of 55
> Hospital deaths increased by 42 to 191
> The overall death toll climbed by 57