Care homes account for over half of Covid-19 deaths in NI

Data released by Northern Ireland’s Statistics and Research Agency reveal trend in fatalities

It is the fourth week that there have been more deaths in care homes than in hospitals in Northern Ireland. File photograph: Getty

It is the fourth week that there have been more deaths in care homes than in hospitals in Northern Ireland. File photograph: Getty

 

Just over half of the coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland in the week ending May 15th occurred in care homes, according to data released on Friday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Of the 61 deaths related to Covid-19 that week, 32 – 52.5 per cent – were in care homes, 27 were in hospital, one was in a hospice and one was at a residential address.

It is the fourth week that there have been more deaths in care homes than in hospitals in Northern Ireland. However, the number of care-home fatalities has fallen for the second week in a row.

According to the statistics agency, there were 664 deaths involving coronavirus until the week ending May 15th. This is 40 per cent more than the number recorded by the North’s Department of Health in their daily statistical bulletin, which reported 472 deaths in the same period.

Of the 664 fatalities recorded by the statistics agency, 322 (48.5 per cent) took place in hospital and 303 (45.6 per cent) in care homes. There were also six deaths in hospices and 33 at residential addresses or other locations.

The 309 deaths in care homes and hospices involved 76 different establishments.

As of Thursday there were active coronavirus outbreaks in 71 care homes in the North, according to the department, and 36 had been resolved.

Northern Ireland produces two set of data on coronavirus fatalities. The department’s figures, which are released daily, include all deaths recorded by Health and Social Care Trusts where there has been a positive test for coronavirus. These are mainly hospital deaths.

The statistics agency’s weekly numbers are slower to produce because they are based on death registration information. Those figures, which are released weekly, cover deaths in all settings and include all fatalities which mention coronavirus on the death certificate. There may not have been a positive test for Covid-19.

The statistics agency also reported that the number of deaths registered in the week ending May 15th fell for its third consecutive week.

People aged 75 and over accounted for two-thirds (66.9 per cent) of all deaths and 79.3 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths registered in the calendar year until May 15th.

Three more fatalities in NI on Friday

There were more coronavirus-related deaths in Belfast than in any other council area, which registered 196 deaths, or 30 per cent, of the coronavirus-related fatalities in the same period. The fewest number was in the Fermanagh and Omagh area, where there were 16 deaths.

Three further coronavirus-related deaths were reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland on Friday.

It brings the total number of deaths recorded by the department to 504.

A further 23 positive cases of coronavirus were identified in the last 24 hours, out of a total of 1,178 people who were tested.

In total, 43,732 individuals have been tested for coronavirus since the outbreak began in the North, and 4,504 have tested positive.

News Digests

Stay on top of the latest newsSIGN UP HERE