Council confirms four residents at same care home have died after developing Covid-19 symptoms

Four elderly residents at the same care home have died after showing Covid-19 symptoms, the local authority has confirmed.

A fifth person without symptoms has also died at Harry Sotnick House (pictured) in Portsmouth, Hampshire, while a number of other residents are showing signs of coronavirus.

A Portsmouth City Council spokesman said that no testing had been carried out to confirm the cases as being caused by Covid-19.

He said: “Despite the measures introduced, five residents have passed away. Four were showing symptoms of coronavirus and one was not.

“There has been no formal diagnosis through testing for these cases as Public Health England guidance states tests should not be used if there will be no change to the care given.

“There are currently a number of other residents who are currently showing coronavirus symptoms. They are being cared for in isolation within the home.”

The spokesman added that the families and carers of the residents had been informed and were being supported by staff.

Councillor Matthew Winnington, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for health, wellbeing and social care, said: “This is an incredibly sad and difficult time for our residents and families. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and those who are concerned about the wellbeing of the people in our care.

“We are doing all we can to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible, and are following the infection control processes we have put in place for Covid-19.

“We are working with Public Health England specialists. We have shared our plans with them, and they have endorsed the approach we are taking. We’re keeping families updated on everything we are doing.”

He said that measures introduced at the home, which has been closed to visitors since March 22, include caring for all residents in isolation, increasing the cleaning regime and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with Public Health England guidance.

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