Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales have fallen to the lowest level since October 2020, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
The latest ONS figures reveal that there were 151 COVID related deaths in care homes in the week ending 19 March down by 39% from the 249 deaths recorded in the week earlier.
On a year to date basis, there were 31,685 deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to 19 March.
This latest figure is the lowest since 220 Covid-related deaths were recorded in the week ending 29 October (week 43, 2020).
Of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020 and up to Week 11 (week ending 19 March 2021), 69.1% (94,570 deaths) occurred in hospitals, with the remainder occurring in care homes (31,685 deaths), private homes (7,575), hospices (2,018), other communal establishments (495) and elsewhere (487).
Between Weeks 10 and 11, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in hospitals (390 fewer), care homes (98 fewer), private homes (39 fewer), hospices (11 fewer) and other communal establishments (1 fewer).
Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals fell to 15.6% in Week 11 (22.5% in Week 10). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 8.2% of deaths, a decrease from Week 10 (12.5%).
Independent Care Group (ICG) Chair Mike Padgham: “Seeing today’s figures it is heartening to see the death rate coming down. That is good news and we pray that it continues.
“But we must echo the Prime Minister’s ‘proceed with caution’ message as restrictions are eased, people begin to mix more freely and more risks are taken.
“The coming days will be critical, with good weather encouraging people to be out and about there is a real risk that infection rates will rise again and that is a real concern for care settings.
“We saw last time restrictions eased that care and nursing homes suffered. We must be extremely cautious to prevent that happening again. We must keep encouraging staff to be vaccinated, particularly as visiting gathers pace.
“The pandemic hasn’t gone away and is still claiming the lives of loved ones we must take care.”