Covid kills HALF of care home's residents over Christmas as boss says 'we're sitting ducks'

CORONAVIRUS killed half of a care home's residents over Christmas as a boss fears the elderly and staff are "sitting ducks" for catching the bug.

Thirteen of 27 residents at Edendale Lodge care home in Crowhurst, East Sussex have died with confirmed or suspected Covid since December 13.

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More than a third of staff tested positive during the outbreak in which residents passed away on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

The latest death came just days ago on Monday.

"It was an awful Christmas and terrible for the staff," the home's operator's managing director Adam Hutchison told the Guardian.

"It's just unstoppable. We're just sitting ducks."

Covid cases are on the rise again in care homes following months of low infection rates as a result of tight lockdown measures.

On Tuesday, Essex county council banned all care home visits in the area due to the "difficulty" in controlling coronavirus outbreaks.

And, the Kent Integrated Care Alliance, which represents care homes in its area, is warning of care worker absences, emotional and mental exhaustion among staff, and a threat to the long-term viability of care homes.

The outbreak at the Sussex care home was detected by routine swab testing and none of the 14 residents who had tested positive had symptoms.

Mr Hutchison said he doesn't know how the virus entered the care home as they banned visits – apart from windows – and staff wore personal protective equipment.

Agency staff who work at several homes were banned from entering.

"It's hard for me to say how it got in. Because of the protocols we were following, everything was there."

Boris Johnson tonight vowed to deliver hundreds of thousands of Covid vaccines a day by next week – and has promised every care home resident will get a jab this month.

The PM said that by next Friday, January 15, the rollout of the vaccine would be hugely ramped up, as he revealed that nearly 1.5million had been given their first dose so far.

He announced that GP-led vaccine sites providing jabs will increase to over 1,000 by the end of next week, and promised hundreds of thousands of doses every day.

And he insisted he had "no doubt" that there would be enough supply to offer everyone in the top four vulnerable groups a vaccine by his February 15 deadline.

The PM confirmed earlier this week that more than 650,000 people had been vaccinated – 23 per cent of all the over 80s in England.

"And that means that nearly 1 in 4 of one of the most vulnerable groups will have in 2 to 3 weeks – all of them – a significant degree of immunity," he said.

The average age of Covid fatalities is in the 80s, he added.

Boris has promised to get jabs to the 13million most vulnerable people in Britain by the middle of February.

It will start with people in care homes, followed by all those over 80, then more NHS workers.

After that the over 75s will get the jab, and then those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have had to shield.

It comes as Covid deaths have topped 1,000 for the second day running, with more than 50,000 new cases reported today.

As a mutant strain spreads across the country, 1,162 more deaths have been confirmed and 52,618 new infections.

The highest death toll recorded in the Government's official figures was 1,224 deaths on April 21, but media outlets say the deadliest day was April 8 when 1,445 fatalities were recorded.

Infections have surged in recent weeks after a mutant strain ripped through Britain with cases passing 50,000 for nine days in a row.

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