5,202 care homes residents and 5,202 care home workers have been tested since 10 April. 20% of residents tested positive for coronavirus. Among staff the figure was 14%. In all 1,837 people provided a positive test.
The tests were carried out in 85 care homes. In 55 homes staff were already aware of an outbreak. In 30 others they were not. The 85 care homes represent a tenth of all Flemish care homes.
In Flanders 20% of residents and 16% of staff have caught the virus. In Wallonia 25% of residents have COVID, while 13% of staff tested positive. In Brussels 10% of residents and 5% of staff tested positive.
7,061 tests were carried out in Flanders, 3,401 in Wallonia, but only 228 in Brussels. Tests still need to be carried out in a further 33 Flemish care homes.
The Flemish health and well-being minister, Wouter Beke (Flemish Christian democrat), who is responsible for care homes, has been keen to play down the number of COVID-related deaths. He says “probably fewer deaths were related to COVID”.
He pointed to the number of people, who had symptoms that suggested corona, but who, when tested, didn’t have the virus: “One in two tested negative, but if they had died, would have been included as a COVID death.”