Exmouth care home overcomes large and tragic outbreak

The devastating reality of how quickly coronavirus can spread has been witnessed first hand by a Devon care home which has tragically recorded around 41 Covid-19 cases and six deaths.

Anita Merritt www.devonlive.com

Knappe Cross Care Centre in Brixington Lane, Exmouth, had its its first case confirmed on December 5, after one of its residents was tested positive during a hospital admission.

By December 11, the outbreak had risen to 26 positive cases among residents and staff. At its peak, around 20 residents and 21 staff had coronavirus.

Care home registered manager Mircea Ciobanu has confirmed that although there have not been any hospital admissions, there have been up to six deaths at the care home which are believed to be related to the outbreak.

Knappe Cross Care Centre

Knappe Cross Care Centre

However, vast efforts to halt its spread seem to have now been successful because the last confirmed case, a member of staff, was reported on December 28.

Mr Ciobanu said: “We have been through a process of support with the infection control team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Devon County Council.

“We have had meetings every week and the outbreak has gradually stopped. It is very good news that we have not had a positive test since December 28, and we’re hoping we’re out of it now.

“It’s had a very, very deep impact on everyone, and there has been a lot to learn from it. I think we managed the outbreak fairly well considering the circumstances. At no point were we under staffed.

“It has impacted on staff in every way, but it didn’t cause any fatalities. I managed to stay negative. The ones that had vulnerable people in their families chose to self-isolate at home.

“It was a very difficult time, and frightening at the same time. Winter is never easy for elderly people and health care providers. It is a period when they are more susceptible to disease, but this particular outbreak was very stressful.”

The care home is hoping to be provided with vaccinations for its residents and staff from its local surgery within the next two to three weeks.

Mr Ciobanu said: “Hopefully we are past the worst, but you can never know for sure. Staff and residents are continuing to be regularly tested.

“I would like to thanks the whole team, including all the agencies who have been involved in the process.

“I would also like to offer my deepest condolences to the families of residents who have lost their loved ones.”

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