A COLCHESTER care home which has beaten the odds and avoided a coronavirus outbreak has thanked its staff and residents for their hard work and support.

Crouched Friars Residential Home, in Crouch Street, has so far avoided any cases of Covid-19 amongst staff or residents.

But with care homes across the UK ravaged by the virus, the home has been forced to implement stringent safety measures, including banning visitors.

To keep morale up, staff have worked hard to put on extra activities to keep residents entertained and are helping them connect with loved ones digitally.

Home Manager Paulina Eagle said: "This is a frightening time, but our team is doing their very best to keep the smiles on everyone’s faces.

"Residents have told us how much they enjoy doing the extra activities we have arranged and how much they appreciate still being able to spend time with each other and their families, albeit digitally.” 

Care homes across the UK have been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus, with more than 8,000 deaths reported in England and Wales.

In Essex, there have been 263 deaths, prompting Essex County Council to launch a new pilot approach to shield and test residents and staff across the county.

Experts hope the peak of the outbreak in care homes has now been reached, with deaths in care homes down 12 per cent in the most recent figures.

Ms Eagle said: "This has been an incredibly hard time for everyone, so it’s wonderful to see some good news emerge.

"The situation in care homes has come under intense scrutiny in recent months, but there’s no doubt that everyone has pulled together and done their very best to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both staff and residents.

“We know we are in a very fortunate position not to have had any cases so far but we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the care sector.

"Our sympathies go out to all those who have lost people to this terrible virus.”