Wisbech care home in lockdown after resident contracts coronavirus in hospital

PUBLISHED: 19:47 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:22 20 March 2020

A resident of the Rose Lodge Care Home in Walton Road, Wisbech has contracted coronavirus in hospital.

A resident of the Rose Lodge Care Home in Walton Road, Wisbech has contracted coronavirus in hospital.

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Relatives and loved ones of residents in the Rose Lodge care home in Walton Road have been asked to stay away for the time being.

It is not known which hospital the resident contracted COVID-19 - but the care home is working with Public Health England to establish how it may have been transmitted.

In the meantime, visitors to Rose Lodge are only permitted in exceptional circumstances and staff are working tirelessly to deep clean the home as a precautionary measure.

Staff and residents are being continuously monitored for coronavirus symptoms, which can include a high temperature, cough and breathing difficulties.

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Megan Jones, General Manager, explained in a letter to residents and relatives that they are ‘working with Public Health England to understand more fully where COVID-19 was contracted’.

The letter, dated March 14, said: “We are writing to inform you that whilst receiving care in hospital, an individual from Rose Lodge care home has been confirmed with having Coronavirus COVID-19.

“We are working with Public Health England to understand more fully where COVID-19 was contracted, but as a precautionary measure, and following advice from Public Health England, we are deep cleaning the home and will be closely monitoring the residents and staff for symptoms.”

It continued: “We understand that this is a worrying time for you, and I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure that Rose Lodge is safe for both our residents and staff.

“Please can you help and support us, as we ask that we have no visitors, except in exceptional circumstances, we may permit a controlled visit provided that it has been pre-arranged with myself or my team, and we can ensure the risks are fully mitigated.”

The letter also offered reassurance that ‘staff and residents are complying with guidance’ and that anyone showing any symptoms will be self-isolated.

“Our staff are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our residents,” it said.

A spokeswoman from Barchester Healthcare, which runs over 200 care homes across the country including Rose Lodge and Hickathrift House in Smeeth Road, Marshland St James, added that it is helping residents connect with loved ones with regular phone and Skype calls.

She said: “Some of our residents are vulnerable to COVID-19 and we therefore need to work together to limit the risk...

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“If essential health professionals do come in we are ensuring that they wash their hands thoroughly and we have plenty of antibacterial gel and will be taking temperatures of people.”

She added that care home staff will continue to remain on ‘heightened alert’ and anyone exhibiting symptoms will be referred to their GP and the relevant authorities to ensure the appropriate precautions are in place for everyone to remain safe.

It comes as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn announced on Tuesday that it is now caring for five patients with coronavirus and that it was cancelling all routine appointments with patients being dealt with by phone to prioritse treatments.

- Do you have a coronavirus story? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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