image source, image caption Newcastle's public health director said there had also been an increase 'concerning' cases in people over 65
Newcastle has seen his first nursing home deaths from the coronavirus in six months, a health chief said.
Prof Eugene Milne, Newcastle's director of public health, said there had been at least two deaths in nursing homes in the past few weeks when Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
He also said there was an increase "regarding " cases among those over 65, although far fewer suffered from serious illnesses after being vaccinated.
Action is being taken, he said.
'Up to 18 cases per day '
Professor Milne told a City Futures Board meeting the discovery of the return of Covid to healthcare facilities was "disappointing " and that health and social service officials were considering how to improve security measures without limiting the freedoms of residents as they were during lockdown.
"There is a difficult balance to be struck between controlling the infection and the freedom of individuals in care homes and the risks associated with both. We are trying to follow that line, "he said.
" What we have seen is is the recurrence, for example, of epidemics of diarrhea and vomiting in some care homes, which suggests that the standards of hygiene and protection that we have seen over the past 18 months are not quite what they were.
"This is partly a natural consequence of the return to more normalcy. We don't want to have this degree of restriction on residents of long-term care homes, but at the same time, it 'is an indication that exposures are starting to reappear that did not exist before. "
The public health expert added that his other main concern was a noticeable increase in positive tests in patients. over 65 in Newcastle, the Local Democracy Reporting Ser vice said.
He presented data showing that there have been recently around 16 to 18 cases per day recorded in this age group, dating back to the vsfigures seen during previous infection peaks in January and July.
However, he added that fewer people are now suffering from serious illnesses than before the vaccine rollout and that the increase some cases might slow down and "settle at a more constant level " ".
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