West Lindsey’s COVID-19 infection rate spike has been put down to a “pretty big” outbreak of the virus in a care home in the district, where residents have already been vaccinated, say Lincolnshire health bosses.
Public health picked the outbreak up by a routine home test programme and found a “number of other asymptomatic people” and “a couple of residents with very mild illness”. They have not disclosed which care home in the district it is, though.
Despite coronavirus vaccines being administered to the vast majority residents in care homes across the county, health bosses said you won’t have “perfect immunity” even after two doses of the vaccine and outbreaks are still expected in care homes.
The care home, which can’t be named, was closed to visitors and given “robust infection/prevention control treatments” including testing the entire home continuing to do so.
It is currently unknown as to whether the infected residents had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, or just one.
After one Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it is estimated a person will have up to 89% protection with around 91% after their second dose.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca offers approximately 76% immunity for up to 12 weeks and 82% after the second. However, these figures vary from person to person, depending on ages.
Since March 21, West Lindsey’s infection rate has continued to grow, placing it 15th nationally and third in Greater Lincolnshire.
Professor Derek Ward, director for public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Unfortunately, we’ve had an outbreak in a care home. It was a pretty big one, similar to the other outbreaks we’ve seen across the county and indeed across the country.
“We picked it up through routine testing, we did a whole home test programme, which is what we do just to make sure. We found a number of other asymptomatic people and a couple of residents with very mild illness.”
He added: “Fingers crossed, none of them will need NHS treatment or care and they’ll clear the virus.
“Obviously, it’s one of the risks that the vaccine is very effective, but even when you’ve got two doses, you’re still not talking about perfect immunity so we will still see those cases as long as they don’t end up in hospital.”
Professor Ward reassured that “at the moment, we’re not seeing any hospitalisation, we’re seeing much milder disease even in our over 80-year-old population”.
He said the outbreak is under control and “as soon as we get an outbreak in a care home it’s closed to visitors. We have really robust infection/prevention control treatments.
“Obviously, we keep testing which is why once you get maybe two or three cases, you often get another five or six because we test the entire home and we keep testing to make sure we identify everybody who’s got the disease and make sure they get the support they need.”