Eight residents have died at a Merseyside care home in the last three weeks – two of them after reportedly displaying coronavirus symptoms.
These fatalities since the start of April were confirmed today at The Brunswick in Southport town centre, which caters for about 50 people.
Of the two residents who reportedly showed Covid-19 symptoms, one was taken to hospital and tested which proved negative.
Another was not able to be tested, but sadly, both later died.
Care home bosses admitted that staff are frightened but added they have "taken prompt action at every stage."
A source, closely connected to The Brunswick, described how staff were in tears having to cope with the tragic implications of the pandemic.
The crisis was "ripping staff apart," it was described, with carers begging extremely unwell residents to keep eating to stave off the illness.
Under-qualified young employees were "dealing with death on a daily basis", it was added.
The source said: "It's known that if a resident gets a temperature, there is a real cause for alarm, now.
"Staff know these people really well, so when they go, it's like losing a member of their own family."
Mortuary ambulances were an almost daily site at the home, managed by Dovehaven, who run facilities in Liverpool, Sefton and Wigan.
Concerns remained about protective personal equipment (PPE), it was claimed, but management said their stocks were "enough to follow guidelines" and "not an issue."
Staffing levels were not short, managing director Sam Jacob added.
She told the ECHO: "It's a very difficult time, and scary, but we are frontline workers.
"Staff are naturally anxious, frightened and worried about their residents.
"But at The Brunswick we have had no confirmed cases of coronavirus at all.
"We have taken prompt action at every stage."
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On Merseyside, 16 residents with Covid-19 symptoms are known to have died at Oak Springs in Wavertree, and eight at Green Heys Care Home in Crosby.
A significant number of people have also died at Larkhill Hall in West Derby, but their official figure remains unclear with management declining to state how many.
This evening, it emerged how Covid-19 fatalities in care homes in England and Wales had more than quadrupled in a week.
According to the latest official figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, the number had risen to 1,043.
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That is up from 217, the previous week.
The number of people who died in private homes also more than tripled, to 466.