Police investigating deaths of five residents after coronavirus outbreak at care home in Devon
Five deaths have been reported at a care home which is being investigated by police following an outbreak of coronavirus.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the five deaths at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford, Devon, were all believed to be related to the outbreak.
The force said a “significant number” of residents and staff had tested positive for Covid-19, with the five deaths having taken place since March 6.
All of the deceased residents tested positive for Covid-19.
Ten other residents are being treated at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, while one member of staff is also in hospital with coronavirus.
Chief Superintendent Dan Evans said: “I’ve no doubt there will be concern in the community regarding this incident and we are doing everything possible to help those bereaved families, while also working with partners to communicate to those with relatives remaining within the home.
“This is a complex investigation involving ourselves and multi-agency partners with safeguarding of residents at its core.
“There is significant work under way to understand the current situation and progress the investigation as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety of care home residents, staff, police officers and partner agency staff.”
Police said agency staff had been brought in to care for residents who remain at the home while staff are self-isolating.
A force spokeswoman confirmed that an investigation was launched “following concerns about the outbreak”.
Officers are speaking to staff and have conducted a search of the home.
Post-mortem examinations have been carried out on three of the deceased residents.
The investigation is being led by Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with a multi-agency safeguarding response, the force added.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Holmesley Care Home said: “I can confirm that we are currently dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus in the home and that sadly, five residents have passed away from the virus.
“They will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this challenging time.
“The vast majority of our residents and our staff team have received their first dose of the vaccine and we hope this may have helped prevent an even worse situation.
“Of the residents and staff who tested positive, the majority have shown either no symptoms, or mild symptoms only.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely, and are doing everything in our power to ensure residents receive the appropriate care.
“For nearly 12 months our staff team has worked incredibly hard to keep the virus from entering our home.
“We are therefore devastated by this outbreak and are committed to working closely with all the relevant authorities to halt the spread of infection and to investigate how the virus entered our home.
“As an investigation is ongoing, we will not be commenting further.”
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