Coronavirus: Shropshire care homes ordered to close to all but essential visits

All non-essential visits to care homes in Shropshire have been stopped in an effort to prevent more coronavirus deaths.

The county's care homes have been ordered to close to all but essential visits to protect vulnerable resident from Covid-19
The county's care homes have been ordered to close to all but essential visits to protect vulnerable resident from Covid-19

Both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Council's have told care homes in the county that the visits are being restricted for the safety of residents.

So far the pandemic has seen a total of 156 care home residents die with coronavirus in the county – 50 in the Telford & Wrekin Council area and 106 in the Shropshire Council area.

However, the most recent death in Telford & Wrekin was July 1, and in Shropshire there has only been one since June 25.

The latest move is an effort to prevent a repeat of the situation across the county earlier this year.

It comes amid rising case numbers in the county and increasing restrictions across society.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we have asked all Shropshire care homes to cease all non-essential visits, apart from exceptional circumstances such as end-of-life care.

“I understand a lot of families will be hurt and upset and I genuinely feel for everyone who is unable to see their loved ones during this painful time.

“Shropshire is following the national trend in terms of the rise in coronavirus cases.

"We have seen local restrictions introduced in areas across the West Midlands and we need to implement drastic measures to avoid this happening in Shropshire.

Vulnerable

“Care home residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our community, so we must take necessary precautions to stop the spread of the virus in these settings.

"Our priority has to be the health and wellbeing of our care home residents and staff.”

Liz Noakes, director for public health at Telford and Wrekin Council, said: “In response to an increase in Covid-19 infections over the past week, we have advised care homes across Telford and Wrekin to restrict visits for their residents, unless under exceptional circumstances.

“Our priority is the health and safety of our residents. We do understand lockdown has been hard for residents, their families and staff in care homes as many people have been unable to visit their loved ones in person for some time.

"However we must try to balance the benefits visiting provides to the wellbeing of residents and their families, against the risk of visitors introducing infection into the care home."

She added: "There is a list of exceptions so we can ensure we continue to meet peoples wellbeing in times of great difficultly for them and their families.

“We want to reassure people this is being done as a precautionary measure. We will continue to monitor the rate of infection across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and will advise care homes when it is considered safe to reintroduce visiting for their residents.”

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