UK News COVID-19 cases in Leeds care homes higher than spring peak
Are Covid-19 outbreaks slowing down in university towns? Analysis
Major university towns, defined as having more than 20,000 students but excluding London, saw infections skyrocket at the end of September when students and teachers returned in their droves.Major university towns, defined as having more than 20,000 students but excluding London, saw infections skyrocket at the end of September when students and teachers returned to education in their droves.
Sky News has uncovered data that shows in at least one part of the UK, COVID-19 care home cases have exceeded spring's levels.
The data will spark fears that Britain may have failed for a second time to protect the care sector, which faced 27,000 excess deaths of mostly elderly residents in England and Wales - almost half the death toll in spring.
The statistics seen by Sky News, collected by the NHS for internal monitoring, show that the number of activecases in care homes in Leeds exceeded 200 early this week. This is considerably higher than the peak of 160 active cases recorded in May.
Covid cases 'being driven down as young people start following rules'
Matt Hancock yesterday chaired a 'gold' meeting on the pandemic, and was told that rates are falling among younger people and therefore curbing a national surge in cases. 1/4 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Coronavirus cases are being driven down because young people have been shocked into following lockdown rules, according to officials 2/4 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail 3/4 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail 4/4 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail In particular, the north east of Engl
The data show that not only is the absolute level of care homecases in Leeds at a record high, growth in cases is also mounting faster than in the spring.
Cases have been doubling every three days over the past fortnight and show little sign of slowing.
The news is the latest blow for the Department of Health and Social Care, which had pledged to ensure that those working and living in care homes would be better protected in the event of a second wave.
They assigned more PPE to workers and provided more tests for care homes, hoping that they would not face the increase in cases and deaths seen in spring.
However, this data underlines that in at least one pocket of the country, COVID cases from the community now seem to have spread into the care sector.
Warrington will go into Tier 3: Council leaders say deal is agreed
A deal on putting Warrington into Tier 3 has been agreed, council leaders have told Sky News. The deal, which has not yet been confirmed by the government, includes £4.2m in financial support for businesses.However, it has not yet been decided when the new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect across the northern town, but it could potentially be next Thursday.
Leeds was already facing a sharp increase in community cases and hospitalisations, with the NHS data showing that the number of COVID patients in hospital has now equalled the spring peak.
However, while many of the early cases in Leeds were among young people and students, the unpublished NHS data seen by Sky News shows that there are now 34 care homes in the area facing outbreaks, many with multiple infections. This is close to the peak in the spring.
Insiders said part of the explanation for the sharp leap in cases was that more testing is being carried out in the West Yorkshire area.
It is also understood that the majority of these cases are among care home staff rather than residents - however, the precise breakdown is unclear.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Our first priority remains the prevention of infections in care homes to protect staff and residents and we are constantly monitoring and responding to the latest figures.
UK is recording more Covid-19 deaths per million people than the US
Two people for every million in the population are dying from Covid-19 in the UK and US every day. But the UK's seven day average is slightly higher, at 2.63 compared to 2.4.Both countries are currently recording around two Covid-19 deaths for every million people — but Britain's rate stands slightly higher at 2.63, compared to 2.4 in the US.
"It is why we have introduced regular testing for staff and residents, providing more than 120,000 tests every day to the care sector.
"Our Adult Social Care Winter Plan supports care homes by putting a total of £1.1bn into infection control measures, alongside free PPE and detailed guidance.
"Stopping staff movement in and between care settings is also critical to minimise the risk of infection of COVID-19, and providers should limit staff movements unless absolutely necessary."
:: Subscribe to the Daily podcast on, , ,
Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton told Sky News: "This spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our city's care homes is extremely worrying.
"Given the obvious vulnerability of care home residents to this virus, it's absolutely vital that the government put in place a proper winter care home plan so past mistakes are not repeated."
He continued: "The government has so far failed to protect the elderly throughout this crisis and it's time it made social care a top priority for the difficult months ahead."
"Labour's shadow social care Minister Liz Kendall wrote to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month warning of this exact situation.
"She made clear that we must have weekly, rapid testing of care staff, proper PPE and urgent additional support for families to be able to safely visit care home.
"The responsibility lies solely with the government and they must act to ensure the elderly are protected from this dreadful virus."
MPs to vote on England's new lockdown - as PM faces Tory backlash .
Boris Johnson will today urge MPs to approve England's new lockdown - but the prime minister is continuing to face a backlash from his own Conservative MPs over the fresh shutdown. Following a 90-minute debate on the new national measures, the House of Commons will on Wednesday afternoon vote on whether to give a second lockdown the go-ahead.If approved, pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will close across England on Thursday and stay shut until 2 December.And - for the next four weeks - people will be told to stay at home apart from when attending school, college, university, work or to go food shopping.