Covid outbreak at Devon care home investigated by police

Sidmouth care home
One resident has died and 33 others have contracted Covid-19.

Police are investigating the circumstances behind an outbreak of coronavirus at a care home in Devon which has led to the death of one resident and 33 positive cases.

Staff and residents at Holmesley Care Home in Sidmouth had already been vaccinated and it is thought they were due to have their second coronavirus vaccination this weekend.

Five residents are thought to have been admitted to hospital in the past few days and one of those people has since died.

Now the police are investigating the outbreak, along with the Care Quality Commission.

Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Bourne, of Devon and Cornwall Police's Public Protection Unit, said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a Covid-19 outbreak at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford involving a number of residents and staff.

"The investigation is being led by the police in partnership with the Care Quality Commission."

It's understood five residents with the virus are being treated in hospital.

The home remains closed following the outbreak.

The director of the care home, Will Neal, said staff were "deeply saddened" by the outbreak and confirmed his team were working closely with Public Health England and Public Health Devon.

Director of Public Health Devon Steve Brown said: “Residents and staff in the home have received their first dose vaccinations, which will be providing a level of protection for them.  In addition, the home has a range of measures in place to respond to this sudden rise in positive cases, and to prevent further transmission. 

"There is no current evidence of wider community spread. This level of outbreak is unusual following the rollout of the vaccination programme, but it is a reminder that we must all stay on our guard. 

"While the vaccine rollout is going well and proving effective, we need to remember that no vaccination is ever 100% effective."

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