THE ‘sobering and desperately difficult’ number of coronavirus outbreaks and deaths in North Yorkshire care homes has been revealed.

North Yorkshire County Council chief executive Richard Flinton said there were currently 75 outbreaks at homes across the county and 129 residents were believed to have died because of Covid-19.

“This is a sobering and desperately difficult number which emphasises where our focus needs to be,” he said.

“Many of our care home residents and the staff who look after them now find themselves on a new frontline.

CORONAVIRUS: Live updates from York and North and East Yorkshire

“While new Covid-19 cases in hospitals have continued to reduce, the number of care homes affected by coronavirus is increasing.

“For this reason our staff in health and adult services have worked round the clock to step up support to the care home sector and this week a newly-created team has started to make daily calls to our 235 care homes and extra care settings and a second team is working with the homes around specific problems that they identify.

“There will also be a major effort in the coming days to test every person in every care home in order to help track down the disease and to help us to build a wall around those care homes that are currently Covid-free.Homes experiencing problems will be supported by a care home liaison officer.”