VISITS to care homes are to be stopped across the county immediately as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Public Health bosses at Worcestershire County Council say they have taken the precautionary decision to close visits to all care homes with immediate effect.

Only essential or compassionate visits will be allowed.

Extra care and supported living will also be subject to the same restrictions.

Dr. Kathryn Cobain, director for Public Health for Worcestershire said: “ We have been assessing the situation in Worcestershire very closely.

“The decision to stop care home, extra care and supported living visits is a difficult one to take.

“We have tried to balance the emotional health and wellbeing of our residents, with keeping them safe from Covid.

“By stopping visits county wide, we are acting to protect our vulnerable residents from the virus.

“I appreciate this will be upsetting and frustrating for families and I want to reassure you that we have acted to save lives.

“We will continue to review this situation.

“For now this is a sensible precautionary measure, it is better to act sooner rather than later.”

Councillor Adrian Hardman, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “This will be difficult for many families and residents, but we must protect our elderly and vulnerable from the spread of Covid.

“The virus has not disappeared, it’s still with us in our community and this is a reminder to us all that we all have our part to play to keep everyone safe.

“Please keep your distance, wash your hands and wear face coverings.

“It really is simple to do and you will be saving lives.”