Eight residents have died after contracting coronavirus at Staffordshire’s largest care home.
They are among 18 residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 at the 189-bed Bradwell Hall Nursing Home, in Bradwell.
One member of staff has also tested positive for the virus.
It has also emerged that there have been 24 deaths at the nursing home in just over three weeks. The other 16 residents were never tested for the virus.
Now owner Edward Twigge has issued a statement following the tragedies.
He said: “We look after some of the most frail and elderly people and it is always upsetting when someone passes away. However, the last three weeks have been truly heart-breaking for everyone involved with the home.
“Our thoughts are still very much with the families of the lovely residents we have sadly lost. I would also like to say a huge thank you to our wonderful staff for their hard work and dedication during these difficult times.
“We clearly still have a difficult few days and weeks to get through and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support at this time.”
Public Health England (PHE), Staffordshire County Council and the NHS have been notified of the deaths.
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PHE communicable disease control consultant Dr Nic Coetzee said: “We are working closely with the council, the NHS and Bradwell Hall Nursing Home to provide support and advice and ensure the residents and healthcare workers are cared for.
“The care home implemented cleansing, self-shielding and self-isolation measures on our advice once symptoms developed in residents and care workers. Affected staff and residents continue to follow this guidance to prevent the further spread of the virus.
“PHE has given all care homes health advice about the symptoms of coronavirus and asked them to closely monitor residents, looking out for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Staffordshire has this afternoon jumped to 1,008.
Doctor Richard Harling, the council’s director of health and care, said: “Over the past few weeks, like many places, Staffordshire has seen a number of care homes affected by the virus, including Bradwell Hall which has sadly seen a number of residents pass away.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have lost a loved-one. I would also like to thank the home, families and staff for doing everything they can to support and care for these residents in these very difficult times.
“It is a reminder to all of us why it is so important to stay at home as much as possible and follow good hygiene in order to give our amazing care workers the best chance to stay well and help protect the most vulnerable.”