Coronavirus ‘outbreaks’ at 16 care homes - and cases at 27 others

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

Forty-three Norfolk care homes have at least one case of coronavirus - including 16 with two or more, classed as an outbreak.

The figures were revealed after Norfolk’s director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, warned that the number of Covid-19 infections in the county was “creeping up”.

Norfolk County Council revealed there were 27 care homes across the county which had one case of coronavirus as of Tuesday morning.

There are also 16 care homes with outbreaks. An outbreak is defined as two or more people experiencing a similar illness, which appears to be linked to a place.

In total, there are 58 people in care homes who have contracted the virus. Of these people, 45 are employees and 13 are residents.

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At a cabinet scrutiny meeting on Wednesday, Dr Louise Smith said none of the outbreaks caused “significant concern at this stage”.

She said: “We are continuing to manage outbreaks on a daily basis. I’m very pleased to be able to report that, at this stage, the outbreaks in care providers are generally quite small.

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“That has not always been the case. Earlier in the pandemic, related to the first peak, we did have unfortunately, some larger significant outbreaks in care settings, particularly in residential care homes.”

On Wednesday, council bosses also confirmed positive coronavirus cases in eight Norfolk schools - although none were classed as outbreaks.

Schools where pupils who have been told to self-isolate because of a positive case include Arden Grove Infant School and Nursery, in Hellesdon, Wymondham High School Academy and East Coast College in Great Yarmouth.

A council spokesman said: “Norfolk’s public health team is working with colleagues from the county council’s learning and inclusion team and Public Health England to ensure early years settings, schools, and academies have the advice and support they need to manage any incidents where children, young people and members of staff display symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the disease to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Education settings are working hard to ensure that they are meeting the guidelines around infection prevention at the same time as supporting children’s learning and well-being.”

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