Walsall has followed Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Sandwell by introducing a ban on non-essential visits to care homes as the coronavirus infection rate rises in the area.
Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said:
“I know this is hugely painful for families and I genuinely empathise – I have only been able to visit my parents a couple of times since March. It really hurts me and I know how much it hurts them as well.”
“Unfortunately, since restrictions were eased in June, we have seen an increase in coronavirus cases in Walsall and across the Black Country. As we increase our contact with others, there are more opportunities for the virus to spread and care home residents are some of the most vulnerable in our community. We have therefore had to implement a number of changes to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
“We can’t be sure who people have had close contact with and I know everyone wants to resume as normal a life as possible, but I would urge everyone to be mindful that if they’re not careful, they could be spreading the virus and putting others at risk.”
Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health said:
“Regrettably I have had to inform Walsall care homes that all non-essential visits to adults and older people must now cease with immediate effect apart from exceptional circumstances such as end of life care. I appreciate that this is a hugely difficult time for care home residents and their families, but our number one priority is keeping residents and care home staff safe.”
“Although there is a restriction to visitors now in place, care homes will support family and friends to look at alternative ways of communicating with their loved ones. The care homes should also provide regular updates on the mental and physical health of residents and identify any additional ways they might be better supported during these difficult times.”
“We know that this restriction will be tough for many of us, but we ask everyone to follow the guidance to keep ourselves and everyone in our communities safe.”
Further announcements will be made by the council as the situation develops.
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