FIFTEEN deaths and 56 positive cases connected to Covid-19 have been discovered among residents at a Llangollen care home over the last three weeks alone.

This is according to the Incident Management Team (IMT), comprising of Denbighshire County Council, Public Health Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board who have been investigating cases at Llangollen Fechan Care Home.

Co-chair of the IMT, Nicola Stubbins, said: “We have been working together to investigate a number of cases of Coronavirus in staff and residents at Llangollen Fechan Care Home in Llangollen.

“Over the last three weeks there have sadly been 56 positive cases and 15 deaths with coronavirus amongst residents.  In addition 33 staff members have been tested positive for the virus over the same period.

“We would like to assure all concerned that control measures have been put in place working jointly with the care home, including limiting the movement of staff and residents to reduce transmission.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with all affected and we remain committed to working together to address the situation.

“Anyone who meets the definition of a contact will be contacted as a routine part of the Test, Trace and Protect process and provided with additional advice for themselves, their household and other contacts.  

“As we move into the next phase of the Coronavirus pandemic we expect to see cases in a variety of settings, and we manage any clusters of Coronavirus appropriately.  This can include providing advice around infection prevention and control, and by supporting contact tracing where required.

“We remind the public that they have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus.  They can do this by adhering to Welsh Government regulations currently in place in Wales, and by observing social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others – and washing hands regularly.”

A spokesman for Roberts Homes (North Wales) Limited said: "The Llangollen Fechan nursing home in Denbighshire has experienced a high level of Covid-19  cases in recent weeks. 

"As a result, we are deeply sorry to report 15 residents with coronavirus have died in the Llangollen Fechan. Our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences go out to the families of those deceased residents. We are continuing to support the next of kin who have lost a loved one and also those families whose loved ones remain in our care, during this difficult time.  

"A total of 56 residents and 33 staff have tested positive for Covid-19. As an organisation we are working with the relevant departments of Denbighshire County Council, Public Health Wales and many other organisations to manage and contain the situation and continue to follow the appropriate guidelines. We very much appreciate the support we are being given.

"All the staff at Llangollen Fechan are committed to providing compassionate and high-quality care for all residents in both its EMI and Residential Units. We thank all our staff for their continued support. Our main priority will always be to make sure all of the residents in our homes are as safe as possible. 

"We are taking every precaution to ensure prevention measures are in place to contain the outbreak and minimise transmission. We are working closely with our colleagues in public health and other public bodies to monitor the situation and to ensure all necessary action is taken.  Regular testing of our residents and staff continues and we continue to advise those who have been in close contact to self-isolate in line with national guidelines."

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS said: "This is deeply distressing news for the families and carers involved and my sympathy goes out to all affected.

"While every effort is being made to limit and control this deadly virus, sadly there are outbreaks like this and I'm sure this particular care home is not the only one facing these challenges.

"With that in mind, I've contacted the interim chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr health board to ask about the extent of care home and hospital outbreaks across the North and what actions are being taken to ensure that rigorous infection control is in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens."