NEARLY ten per cent of residents in care homes across the borough have tested positive for coronavirus, new figures have revealed.

A total of 1,100 tests have been completed in Barnsley, and 556 of the tests completed related to residents of care homes.

According to official figures, 440 tests came back negative - which equates to 79 per cent - but 50 tests came back positive, or nine per cent.

Sixty-six residents are still awaiting their results.

Health leaders in Barnsley are testing all care home staff and residents - even those who are not showing any symptoms.

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The South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust have tested staff and residents in a total of 34 care homes, with a further nine homes scheduled for completion this week.

Julia Burrows, director of Public Health, said: “We’re aiming to complete full testing in all care homes within the next few weeks, except for those homes who opt out.

“As of June 11, we understand that over 90 per cent of our care homes are coronavirus-free.

“This is good news and reflects the excellent work by our local care homes with the crucial support of adult and social care and health partners.

“Given the vulnerability of care home residents, we can never be complacent and will continue to prioritise testing and support to this sector.”

Over the period from March 21 to June 10, Barnsley had 372 new hospital cases, and during the same period a total of 268 hospitals cases were discharged.

However, a total of 229 deaths have been registered in Barnsley with a mention of coronavirus on the death certificate - 135 of those were in hospital, and 94 were outside.

The majority of those deaths outside hospital have been in care homes.

Locally, the peak of the pandemic was reached in April and death rates have continued to fall since.

“Coronavirus has hit different parts of the UK at different times and in different ways,” Ms Burrows added.

“It’s likely that the moderately high rates in Barnsley are related to effective testing, high local rates of those underlying diseases that increase the risk of coronavirus - such as chronic lung diseases caused by smoking and related to the local coal mining history - and a population that is on average more elderly than the rest of the country.

“However, despite and because of these reasons, maintaining vigilance, collaboration, and responsive continues to be our best approach.

“Barnsley will get through this pandemic.”

There are currently 1,023 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Barnsley, meaning one in every 241.3 people have contracted the virus.