More than four in ten Brighton and Hove care homes have at least two cases of covid – despite weekly testing and PPE.
Although the rate for the city generally is starting to drop significantly, cases in the over 85s are much higher and have still been rising.
Hove MP Peter Kyle told Brighton and Hove News the continued rise in cases was a particular worry as it was happening despite measures such as staff no longer travelling between homes.
In particular, there were were 2,235 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the over-90s in the week ending 14 January – twice the rate for England and a 45.9% increase.
This means more than one in every 45 people in that age bracket tested positive in the second week of January.
The rate for the over-85s in the same period was 883.5 – a 6.6% increase from the previous week. Meanwhile, the rate for the whole city was 526.3, a 29.6% decrease.
A council spokesperson said: “In recent weeks we have seen an increase in Covid cases in care home settings. The rates are concerning but do not necessarily link to hospital discharge.
“The new variant is highly transmissible and what we are seeing in our care homes is similar to other parts of the country. Out of the 92 care homes in the city, this week there are 26 closed to admissions. All are being closely worked with and supported.
“All care home managers and staff continue to have contact, support and input from the council on a regular basis. Advice and guidance is being provided to staff by infection prevention and control specialists within the council and Public Health England.
“The safety and wellbeing of everyone who continues to look after our most vulnerable residents and maintain other essential city services is paramount. Thank you to everyone in these sectors for their extraordinary work and care.”
A spokesman for Peter Kyle said: “42% of care homes in the city have two or more covid positive residents and it’s impossible to figure out how it’s getting in as staff are in PPE and no longer travel between homes.”
A spokeswoman for Caroline Lucas said: “Obviously the vaccine roll out should help but Caroline is also concerned about PPE, and whether care home staff need more robust PPE because of the new variant and its increased contagiousness.”
In November last year, Brighton and Hove City Council’s health and wellbeing board were told by executive director for health and adult social care Rob Persey that 43 out of the city’s 92 care homes had recorded cases since the pandemic started in February.
On Tuesday, 5 January, he said 18 care homes were closed to new admissions and visitors because of outbreaks.
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