Jewish Care has said 68 residents suspected of having contracted Covid-19 have recovered, with “more consistent” testing now being rolled out across the charity.
Chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown said: “We have 68 residents across our care homes who have now made a full recovery from what we believe were coronavirus symptoms.
“There are very few of our residents across our homes who have developed Covid-19 in the last two weeks. This is of course good news, although we are careful to remain vigilant and will not become complacent in our measures to keep Covid-19 out of our homes.
He added that the charity was “now starting to see testing become available in a more consistent manner,” adding that the prominent media focus given to the issue by Jewish News helped in no small manner.
“Campaigning by Jewish Care, in addition to some external pressure and publicity on the issue, contributed to our ability to test more residents,” he said.
“The increased number of tests made available to our residents means that we are able to make more accurate assessments of their care needs.”
The organisation said it would begin opening its doors to new admissions “in the coming week” and start assessing the viability of family visits, although this could still be some way off.
Last month former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann praised the swift action of Jewish care homes in securing extra supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the start of the pandemic, with some even ordering oxygen supplies.
Carmel-Brown said: “We want to assure everyone that our priority is the safety and wellbeing of those we care for, and any steps that Jewish Care takes to move forward in the coming weeks will be undertaken with due caution.”
To-date 30 residents across seven of the charity’s ten care homes have died after testing positive for Covid-19.
Of these ten were residents at Anita Dorfman House, four residents from Clore Manor, one from the Kun Mor and George Kiss Home, three from Lady Sarah Cohen House, four from Otto Schiff, two at Sidney Corob House and six at Vi and John Rubens House.
Earlier this month human rights activist Natan Sharansky donated some of his $1 million Genesis Prize money to Jewish Care to buy PPE, which senior executives helped distribute to care homes this week.