59 more people die in region's care homes after positive Covid-19 test
A total of 59 people have died in care homes across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire during the second week of May – after testing positive for coronavirus.
This was a substantial drop on the 156 patients in care homes who died the week previous, from May 2 to May 8 – and also a decrease on the week prior to that, when 129 people died.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 59 people with Covid-19 died in care homes from the week ending May 8 to May 15 across the region.
Nationally the number of coronavirus-related deaths in care homes have also dropped.
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There were eight patients in care homes in Dudley who died during that week, seven in Wolverhampton, three in Sandwell, 11 in Walsall and 17 in Staffordshire. Thirteen died in Birmingham.
Overall there have been 487 deaths in care homes across Black Country, Birmingham, and Staffordshire since April 10 – when the data first became available – with 38 in Dudley, 52 in Wolverhampton, 34 in Sandwell, 66 in Walsall, 156 in Staffordshire, and 141 in Birmingham.
Weekly coronavirus-related deaths in care homes have fallen for the second week running to 1,666 in the week ending May 8, from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days – a decrease of 31 per cent.
Currently, 2,202 coronavirus patients have died in hospitals across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire – but this will rise once today's figures are released by the NHS.
The number of deaths in hospitals in England is at 24,739, in the latest figures – while the number of care homes deaths across the country sits at 9,762.
Sam Monaghan, chief executive of Methodist Homes, which runs 222 care homes and schemes, including some across the West Midlands and Staffordshire, said: "There is a stark disconnect between the ongoing Government rhetoric on support for care homes and the lived reality on the ground.
"Our fear since last week has been that with the easing of restrictions we will see numbers of people infected in the general population increase with a knock on effect to the vulnerability of those in the care sector.
"This, at a time when we don't yet have routine regular testing for all our residents and staff and we are using our charity reserves to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) on the open market to keep our staff and residents safe.
"Like the rest of the sector, the future is an incredibly uncertain place in terms of the ongoing impact on our homes and our financial resilience."