More than 30 people have died in Reading care homes in the last two weeks from coronavirus, according to the latest figures.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) statistics, released today, show that 34 people have died in care homes after contracting Covid-19 from April 10-24.

When added to statistics revealed by the Chronicle this morning, this suggests 76 people from Reading have now died in total after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, also released today, had shown there have been 54 Reading deaths in total since the start of the pandemic, with 12 happening in care homes.

But CQC figures suggest the care home figures are much higher, taking the total to 76.

The reasons CQC figures are higher is because they record death notifications from care home providers, which come quicker than the ONS figures that report death registrations.

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Councillor Tony Jones, Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) lead member for Adult Social Care, gave an update on the action being taken by the council to protect older residents in care homes in the town.

The Labour councillor was answering a question from Green councillor Rob White during the council’s first ever virtual council meeting on Monday evening.

He said: “The council has built on our existing strong working relationships with Public Health England, the local NHS CCG, our own Adults Social Care team and care homes in Reading.

“In particular regular contact is being maintained with care homes across the town to ensure timely access to infection control advice, testing of residents and staff with symptoms, and PPE for staff is all readily available.

“This ensures that all possible steps are taken to minimise the risk of death when infection within our care homes occurs.”

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Elsewhere, the latest figures from NHS England show 122 people have died under the care of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust after testing positive for the coronavirus.

NHS figures are also recorded differently to those from the ONS and CQC, and relate only to patients who have died in hospitals after a positive test for coronavirus.

The statistics do not specify a cause of death, and are recorded by trust rather than local authority.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed this evening there will be daily announcements of deaths in care homes from tomorrow (Wednesday, April 29).