FIVE care homes in Powys have residents currently suffering coronavirus, a meeting has been told.

At the health and care scrutiny meeting today (Thursday, May 28), Powys County Council members heard that five of the county's 37 care homes are currently tackling the virus.

The authority's corporate director of social services Ali Bulman told said Powys Council and Powys Teaching Health Board have joined forces to create a team that speaks to care homes daily, during the pandemic.

Their job is to learn of any problems, and to provider “support, intervention, assurance and improvement” where needed.

Ms Bulman, said: “My latest information is that we have five care homes with infection at this time, out of 37 across Powys.

“The other homes are not reporting symptoms or concerns and appear to be infection free.”

Responding to a question from committee chairman, councillor Gwilym Williams about whether they were private homes or those run by the council, Ms Bulman added: “They are private and we are working with all of them  all in the same way regardless of whether they are Powys homes or private.

“When there is an infection outbreak in any of the care homes environmental health officers work really closely with those providers to make sure best practice is occurring and address any training gaps.”

She also said that both the authority and health board were now working on “mass testing across care homes”.

This effort had started last week and would continue for another two weeks.

Ms Bulman said: “Things may change as and when those test results come back.”

She added that there was a weekly forum where providers would meet with the council to discuss the pandemic, and share their experiences.

Ms Bulman also told councillors that the authority had “a robust set of contingency plans to step in and help care homes when required”.

The health board has also reviewed all patients in every care home where Covid-19 has been found, to ensure their clinical needs are being met.

Councillor Michael Williams added: “I would like to express my complete admiration to all the staff at all the homes, absolutely tremendous.”