A number of residents have died at an Andover care home following a Covid outbreak, the Advertiser can report.

Sources told the Advertiser that at least five residents have died at Andover Nursing Home, located on Weyhill Road, as a result of the outbreak, with others having tested positive for the virus. When this was put to Andover Care Limited, which runs the home, they did not dispute this.

The home is being supported by Public Health England, who said they had been informed of deaths at the home but were unable to provide an exact figure at this time.

A director of Andover Care Limited said that Andover Nursing Home was “communicating regularly with all residents, their families, and our local public health team” in response to the outbreak.

The Advertiser understands that the outbreak began last week, with sources reporting that there had been at least five deaths at the home, with more staff and residents said to have contracted Covid-19.

It is the first outbreak the home has suffered during the pandemic. It follows those at other care facilities such as the Enham Trust, which pleaded with the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for its residents to be prioritised for vaccination following the virus being confirmed in its facilities.

In December, assisted living facility Charles Dalton Court was placed into lockdown following an outbreak.

In a statement to the Advertiser, Dr Ramneek Greywall, director of Andover Care Limited, said “I can confirm that we recently have had some residents test positive for COVID-19, for the first time during this pandemic. I am extremely proud of how our staff team has pulled together to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest standards of care to residents despite having some staff required to self-isolate.

“We are working hard to ensure residents continue to feel safe and remain happy and socially engaged. We are communicating regularly with all residents, their families, and our local public health team. We are grateful for their ongoing support and messages of encouragement at this time.”

The home is being assisted by bodies such as Public Health England, who said that they are “currently supporting this nursing home through their outbreak, which is ongoing.”

They said that they had been informed of deaths at the home, but could not confirm exact numbers as care homes are not obligated to report every death to them, and that the figures can change overnight.

Trish Mannes, deputy director of health protection for Public Health England South East, said:

“It is important that we do all we can to protect our elderly and vulnerable in care homes. It is really positive news that vaccinations are being given to priority groups according to age and vulnerability. Care home residents and staff have been prioritised for vaccination.

“We know care home staff are under a huge amount of pressure and we have nothing but admiration for the tough job they are doing. Sadly, many care home residents, as well as some of the dedicated staff who care for them, have lost their lives during this pandemic and many families have lost loved ones.

“Our role at PHE is to work very closely with local authority and NHS colleagues, as well as care home management teams in the event of a confirmed case or outbreak. We advise the care home management teams on the best actions to take to help prevent further cases.

“Care homes have been working incredibly hard to stop the spread of COVID-19. When residents or staff members develop symptoms, they immediately implement cleaning, self-shielding and self-isolating measures. All homes are advised to keep these measures in place to help reduce the risk of further cases, and are given guidance to closely monitor residents, looking out for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”

Hampshire County Council and West Hampshire CCG are also supporting the home. They were contacted for comment by the Advertiser, along with the Care Quality Commission.