Revealed: The number of people who have died of coronavirus in York care homes

Photograph: sabinevanerp / Pixabay

Nearly half of the people who have died from coronavirus in York were living in care homes.

And nursing homes in the city have been hit harder than elsewhere in the country – with a higher rate of people dying in care homes in York than the national average.

As a result, the council’s assistant director of public health told a meeting, the average age of the people who have died from coronavirus in York is 82.

There have been outbreaks in 60 per cent of care homes in the city and at one point 17 centres were all experiencing an outbreak at the same time. Currently three care homes have reported an outbreak.

Fiona Phillips, from the council’s public health team, told a virtual meeting: “Outbreaks in care homes peaked at the start of May.

“We now know that almost half of the deaths in York were of people living in residential care home settings.”

98 in a week

She added that the council’s adult social care team speaks to every nursing home in the city daily to discuss anyone who has symptoms, staff absences and concerns over PPE and cleaning.

Director of public health Sharon Stoltz said: “In terms of care settings we work very closely with Public Health England in terms of managing outbreaks in care homes and we have the facility to arrange for whole care home testing.”

Overall there was a steady increase in coronavirus cases in York up to a peak in the first week of May – when 98 cases were confirmed in a week, Ms Phillips said.

And there was an average of 36 deaths a week in early May.

Since then, numbers have been declining – but the council did not have all the data about cases and deaths during the height of the pandemic.

High-risk settings

At the time of the meeting, 156 York residents had died from coronavirus and 75 of those deaths were people living in the city’s 37 care homes.

The council’s first Outbreak Management Advisory Board meeting heard that plans will be drawn up for managing cases in care homes, schools and other high-risk settings.

It also heard that since the national test and trace programme was launched on May 28, 56 York residents had a positive Covid-19 test. Of them, 43 took part in test and trace. This led to 65 contacts being identified, 38 of whom have been asked to self isolate.