Around one in six coronavirus-related deaths occurred outside hospitals – including in care homes – according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.
The figures, for the week up until 10 April, show deaths in England and Wales had nearly doubled, hitting a 20-year high. There were 18,516 deaths – about 7,996 more than the five-year average.
Overall, a third of deaths were registered as relating to COVID-19, but deaths from other causes also rose. Coronavirus accounted for more than half of deaths in London (53.2 per cent), and more than a third (37 per cent) in the West Midlands.The number of deaths in care homes doubled by 2,456 deaths (up 99.4 per cent); and were up by half (51.1 per cent) in private homes (1,392 deaths).
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “These sad and shocking figures highlight just what a severe challenge we face in care homes and other community settings.
“Data on all deaths from COVID-19 needs to be published promptly and accurately, so we can have full confidence and transparency in these figures as part of our plan to defeat this deadly virus.
“We are also yet to see the peak of the stress on the social care system, due to the delay between hospital admissions and discharge, which will require the need to start thinking about shifting capacity across from hospitals and into the community to meet a surge in demand.”