NEW figures have revealed the shocking extent the coronavirus pandemic has had on Cheshire.

Figures revealed at Cheshire West and Chester Council's meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday, May 21, showed there have been nearly 900 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

The figure is significantly higher than the number of coronavirus patients who have died in the county's hospitals, as the report also showed that, in west Cheshire, more than a third of coronavirus deaths occurred outside of hospitals.

Since the pandemic hit the area, 876 people have died from coronavirus in Cheshire up to May 8.

The worst of these weeks was April 11-17, when 203 deaths were reported in Cheshire – 57 of those in Cheshire West and Chester.

However, the figure had significantly reduced to 106 for May 2-May 8 (34 in Cheshire West and Chester), suggesting the lockdown and social distancing was having a positive effect on controlling the virus.

For west Cheshire, the most recent data available said of the 268 deaths reported in the borough from the virus up to May 8, a total of 66 per cent (178) had occurred in hospitals.

The figures, which were revealed at Cheshire West and Chester Council's meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday, May 21, showed 28 per cent of Covid-19 deaths had occurred in care homes – a total of 76 people.

Nine people (three per cent) had died of the virus at home, three people (one per cent) had died at a hospice, and two people (one per cent) had died in an 'other communal establishment'.

The report also revealed the shocking extent coronavirus has had on Cheshire since the pandemic hit the region.

The report also said more than half of care homes in west Cheshire had reported a coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic started, but the real figure was "likely to be significantly higher".

Latest Government figures show that, out of the 86 care homes in Cheshire West and Chester, 47 have reported a coronavirus outbreak – 54.7 per cent.

The worst week for reported outbreaks was April 6-12, when 15 care homes in the borough reported an outbreak of Covid-19.

The figure is significantly higher than the national average of 37.8 per cent of all care homes affected, and for the North West at 43.6 per cent.

The report added: "Cheshire West and Chester Council are actively engaged with all their care providers on a daily basis to monitor the situation and provide advice and guidance where needed.

"Daily calls are made to all care providers to establish levels of service users and staff with symptoms or confirmed cases, to identify any new Covid-19 suspected deaths, to understand the numbers of staff and services being tested, any issues with accessing testing and current PPE stock levels.

"Where providers are struggling with PPE, the council make same day deliveries to ensure staff and service users remain safe.

"We are also linking in providers with our Infection Prevention and Control teams and colleagues in the CCG for additional advice and support."

Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, added: “Whilst the number of deaths in the borough seems to be stabilising, we shouldn’t become complacent.

"We need to continue to follow the Government guidelines, stay at home as much as possible, maintain social distancing and help to save lives.”