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Derbyshire County Council's care homes to allow only 'essential visitors'

Only “essential” visitors are being allowed in to Derbyshire County Council’s care homes due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, the authority has confirmed that it is still admitting new residents.

This comes as government health officials stress the importance of basic hygiene and that in future weeks it could move to isolate vulnerable groups such as the elderly.

It has already recommended that those aged 70 or over and people with underlying health conditions avoid travel on cruise ships.

The virus, which infects the respiratory system, is thought to have a more adverse impact on these groups.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said: “We’ve reviewed access to our care homes to help reduce the risk from coronavirus.

“As a precautionary measure, visiting is limited to essential visitors only. This means staff, healthcare professionals and friends and family of residents.

“We’re also asking visitors to wash their hands when they arrive and as they leave and urging people who are unwell not to visit.

“This is to help protect the well-being of our vulnerable residents and staff to ensure that we can continue our vital public service role.

“It’s important to ensure we follow the national guidance by Public Health England and at present there is no recommendation for care homes to close.

“But we’re continuing to review the situation to ensure we follow the most up-to-date guidance and taking all necessary measures to protect our staff and residents.”

The county council currently has 23 care homes in total – though it is proposing to close seven of these due to disrepair and a perceived reducing need for residential care.

News broke at the weekend that within the next 20 days the government will announce  emergency plans which would see people over 70 instructed by the government to stay in strict isolation at home or in care homes for four months.

It has also been reported that local authorities will be allowed to scale down their adult social care responsibilities – such as by reducing weekly home visits from three to one.

Alongside this, there have been reports that the Royal Army Medical Corps could build tented hospitals next to care homes.

A further government paper, seen by the Guardian, said that soon only the very seriously ill who are already in hospital and people in care homes and prisons where the coronavirus has been detected will get tested

 

 

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