A third of care homes in the Cotswolds have been hit by the coronavirus, new figures show.
The Prime Minister has said that “awful” epidemics in care homes and the NHS had to be reversed, and that the emphasis on testing must remain to keep pushing infections down nationally.
Public Health England data reveals that of the 18 care homes in the Cotswolds, six had reported a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 up to May 3.
It means that 33 percent of residential and nursing homes had been hit by the virus.
However, PHE says the data contains no indication of whether the reported outbreaks are still active.
The rate in the Cotswolds is higher than across the rest of the South West, where 24 percent of care homes have been affected so far. Across England, 33 percent reported cases.
Visits to care homes from families and friends have significantly reduced during the lockdown in order to protect vulnerable residents, while inspections by the Care Quality Commission have been paused for most residences.
But separate figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal more than a fifth of coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales up to April 24 had occurred in care homes.
In his recent speech to the nation, Boris Johnson said: “We must reverse rapidly the awful epidemics in care homes and in the NHS, and though the numbers are coming down sharply now, there is plainly much more to be done.
“And if we are to control this virus, then we must have a world-beating system for testing potential victims, and for tracing their contacts.”
The Department of Health and Social Care said last week that it was supporting the adult social care sector through the outbreak, following concerns that frontline care workers were struggling to access Covid-19 tests and personal protective equipment.