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COVID OUTBREAK: Kirby care home suffers serious outbreak

COVID OUTBREAK: Kirby care home suffers serious outbreak

Image of Appleby Care Home: LDRS

A Merseyside care home has suffered what is believed to be a serious outbreak of Covid-19.

A large number of residents at Appleby Court Care Home in Kirkby are understood to have tested positive for the virus this week. A number of staff are also believed to have tested positive.

Knowsley Council confirmed that there had been an outbreak at Appleby Court, on Roughwood Drive, saying it was providing support to the care home and working with Public Health England to investigate the outbreak.

However, the council did not say how many residents had tested positive for the virus.

It is also not clear how many residents at Appleby Court had been vaccinated prior to the outbreak, although council leader Graham Morgan said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (February 10) that all the borough’s care home residents had been offered the vaccine.

The outbreak will be a cause for concern in Knowsley where, despite the borough having one of the highest infection rates in the country, care homes appear to have largely avoided a repeat of the first wave.

According to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures, Knowsley has not seen a care home death since mid-November.

A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “We are aware of a Covid-19 outbreak at Appleby Court Care Home.

“Any outbreak within a setting that provides care for elderly or frail residents is a concern and our public health and infection prevention control teams are providing as much support and advice as we can to the home, its staff and residents.

“We are also working with Public Health England to investigate the matter further.”

Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, head of health protection at Public Health England North West – Cheshire & Merseyside said: “We are working closely with the care home to provide public health advice to help stop the virus spreading.

“When residents or staff members develop Covid-19 symptoms, care homes implement additional testing and enhanced infection control measures to prevent further cases.

“Everyone should be following social distancing advice to prevent the spread of the virus. Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

“Visit the NHS website for all the latest advice and information.”

On the subject of whether Appleby Court residents had been vaccinated, Dr Ghebrehewet said: “Our work at the care home is in its early stage and we are reviewing how many staff and residents have been vaccinated, when they were vaccinated and when their symptoms first started.

“We are working closely with the staff and with Knowsley Council as part of our investigations. We know the vaccine saves lives, reduces hospitalisation, and that no one will have 100% protection.”

Appleby Court could not be reached for comment.

Words: Chris McKeon, Local Democracy Reporter

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