Large Covid outbreak at Exmouth care home

A large outbreak of Covid-19 at an Exmouth care home reached 26 positive cases among residents and staff.

Anita Merritt www.devo

Knappe Cross Care Centre in Brixington Lane had its first Covid-19 case confirmed last Saturday, December 5, after one of its residents was tested positive during a hospital admission.

Since then steps have been taken to try and halt its spread, with extra staff coming on board to cover for staff who are currently having to self-isolate and to look after the residents.

All ‘window visits’ to the care home by family and loved ones have been suspended until the outbreak is under control.

Devastated registered manager Mircea Ciobanu said: “It was something that was very unexpected. We have been fairly fortunate so far up until now that we have not had any cases through this pandemic.

“It was a disappointment to us, as much as it was to families, residents and staff that this has now happened. We are doing the best we can to control the outbreak and I think we have done very, very well so far in doing that.

Knappe Cross Care Centre

Knappe Cross Care Centre

“We have not had any residents or staff who have been very, very poorly, and nobody has died.

“We have been in touch with the local authority, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission, and have a meeting scheduled with them.

“We are fortunate to say that in spite of some staff testing positive we have managed to cover the floors and bring in enough staff. They are very busy and are doing their best to keep our residents safe following the advice we have been given.

“What matters now is how we manage it and how things will be when this is over.”

The care facility is home to 37 residents and it employs up to 45 members of staff.

Expressing his gratitude to all the care home’s staff for what they have done this year, Mr Ciobanu added: “My staff have made very big sacrifices through the pandemic to take care of our residents such as sacrificing holidays and not seeing their own loved ones.

“I would like to thank them for how supportive they have been.”

A spokesman on behalf of Public Health Devon said: “Public Health experts and Devon County Council are working together to support staff at Knappe Cross Care Centre in Exmouth following a number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the care home.

“The home is following all of the current guidance to control infection. It is minimising the risk of the transmission among its residents and staff through a comprehensive range of measures including self-isolation of those affected, wearing of correct PPE, rigorous cleaning, as well as social distancing and hand hygiene.

“Any contacts of the confirmed cases have been contacted and asked to self-isolate for the appropriate duration, and should symptoms develop they should be tested.”

Steve Brown, director of Public Health Devon (designate) said: “Care homes in Devon are working extremely hard to keep residents and staff safe and to control the risk of infection.

“We are working closely with care homes to support those currently affected and will continue to monitor the latest data and intelligence.”