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The Independent Care Group (ICG) has called for operators to stay on the highest alert, even though the latest figures show a slowing of the COVID-19 death rate in care homes.

Latest ONS figures released this week have revealed that 168 people died with COVID-19 symptoms in the week ending 30th October – 15 more than the previous week – the lowest weekly rise for four weeks.

Mike Padgham, chair of the ICG, said: “Given that the increase in deaths is much smaller for that week, there are some grounds for optimism that things are slowing.

“But this is just one week, and really it is too early to say conclusively. We must stay on our guard, on the highest of alerts and make sure those figures keep coming down and down.

“We must never forget that one death from COVID-19 is a death too many and each loss is a tragedy – a loved one, a husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or friend”.

This smaller rise in care home deaths followed news last week of a COVID-19 vaccine – with the potential roll-out before Christmas.

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