Care home group Barchester has announced that it is asking the relatives and friends of residents to keep their visits to a minimum to prevent the illness spreading.
The group, which as homes in South Tyneside, Washington, Northumberland and County Durham, highlighted the request on its website, saying it was part of efforts to keep residents safe.
In a statement Barchester management said that the measure would be in place until further notice.
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Care homes which will be affected by the measures include; Harton Grange in South Shields, Bedewell Grange in Hebburn, Washington Grange in Washington, Hawthorns Care Home in Peterlee, Chester Court and Meadow Park in Bedlington, along with Woodhorn Park and Station Court care homes in Ashington.
The statement on the Barchester website read: “The UK remains in the containment phase of tracing coronavirus cases to prevent it spreading in the community.
“Barchester are committed to ensuring that we keep all our residents, patients and staff as safe as possible and as a preventative measure we are asking visitors, including family members and friends, to minimise visits to our care homes and hospitals until further notice.
“Therefore we are asking you to restrict your visits to a minimum in order to keep your loved ones, and all our other residents, as safe as possible.
“We have not taken this decision lightly, and appreciate that this may cause some discomfort, but feel that this is a necessary step to take.
“If there is a situation that requires a non-routine visit we would ask that you discuss this with the general manager of the home/director of the hospital to ensure that the appropriate precautionary measures are taken to limit any potential risk.
“In addition, we are limiting visits overall, and visits from the local community and external entertainment are cancelled for the foreseeable future.
“Our staff will do all they can to ensure that life in our services remains as comfortable and sociable as possible.
“We will still ensure that vital medical visits are made, and will be sure that only visitors who are not displaying symptoms come in, and that they wash their hands on entering.
“We would really appreciate your support with these measures, and please be reassured that we are closely following and complying with the Public Health authorities to ensure that we keep our residents and patients safe, and that our staff are supported to continue to deliver great care.
“In the unfortunate situation that we do have a case in one of our homes or hospitals we will need to stop all visiting completely and will inform you accordingly.”
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