With official figures recording a second weekly rise in the number of Covid-19 related deaths in care homes, an Essex rehabilitation centre is tightening its restrictions having so far avoided any cases.
Since the start of the pandemic, Uplands RehabilitationCentre (URC) in Westcliff-on-Sea has had no cases of the virus among staff or residents.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of Covid-19 related deaths in care homes rose to 31 in the week ending 18 September up from 27 the previous week, marking the second consecutive weekly increase in Covid-19 deaths in care homes.
Last week 60 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Southend-on-Sea and the weekly rate is currently 34.4 cases per 100,000 people, slightly above the East of England average.
As a result of this rise in cases, the team at URC has been continuously reviewing and updating its policies to ensure the health and safety of all involved. Extra infection control measures are in place, including regular fogging and the erection of plastic screens, alongside the use of PPE and testing.
Akash Soni, Director of URC, said: “After months, it’s sad to see the number of cases back on the rise. We know we are in an extremely fortunate position not to have had any cases so far and that we, along with our colleagues throughout the care sector, are doing our utmost to ensure we minimise the risk to those in our care. Our sympathies go out to all those who have lost people to this virus.”
In line with recent guidelines, the team at URC has taken steps to reduce the number of visitors to the centre, but is looking at innovative ways of keeping families connected.
Akash added: “Due to the rule of six, we have had to ask that no-one under the age of 18 visits the centre and that families, friends and next of kin phone or video call their relatives as much as possible to limit numbers. .
“We have a number of devices on hand to help facilitate calls and want to ensure people are able to keep in touch as often as they require to help everyone through this time.”
During the pandemic, life has carried on as normally as possible for staff and residents at Uplands. Arts and crafts are always hugely popular and sessions have continued to take place on a one-to-one basis, in the absence of any group activities.