NOT a single death has been linked to coronavirus in St Helens’ care homes in two weeks, new figures have shown.

The weekly figures from St Helens Borough Council continue to point to a much-improved picture in the local care sector.

The latest data shows that 11 people died in care homes in the week leading up to June 19.

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None of those were suspected of being related to COVID-19.

This means the last death that occurred in a St Helens care home that was linked to the virus happened in the week leading up to June 5.

Since the start of the outbreak, 215 people have died in the borough’s care homes.

Of that total, 76 are suspected of being related to coronavirus.

A number of different organisations currently report on care home deaths, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Care Quality Commission.

St Helens Borough Council say the data that it provides gives the most-up-to-date picture regarding the scale of the outbreak in local care homes.

This week’s data also shows there were no symptomatic cases in the borough’s care homes in the week leading up to June 19, with seven cases reported the previous week.

In addition, three positive cases were reported, down from nine the previous week.

A spokesman for St Helens Borough Council said the data has been gathered daily directly from each care home and is accurate at that time of collation.

It may differ from the figures from other official sources, such as Public Health England, ONS, etc, as there may be a delay in official sources of information.

The spokesman added that the testing of residents and staff, as part of whole care home testing, was not until recently part of the official statistics on infections in St Helens.

Across the borough, Public Health England figures show that 765 people had been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19 as of Friday.

A week before, there were 761 cases.

It means cases have not increased over the weekend, while the rate of increase across the UK was 0.4 per cent.

The positive overall picture in St Helens is also reflected in the official data on hospital deaths.

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Tuesday, June 23, was the last time a death linked to COVID-19 that occurred at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was included in the daily figures published by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

One death that had occurred on June 18 was included in the figures on that day.

Since the start of the outbreak, the trust, which runs Whiston, St Helens and Knowsley hospitals, has recorded 206 deaths where the patients had tested positive for COVID-19.