The great majority of care home residents have had the booster jab. | Efe (Juan Carlos Cárdenas)

On January 6, there were 68 positive cases of coronavirus among residents of 15 care homes for the elderly in the Balearics. Ten days after the end of the holiday period, there are now 256 in 26 homes.

The Balearic health service stresses that the great majority of these cases are mild or asymptomatic, similar therefore to the rest of the community. Only 25 residents have required hospitalisation.

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However, as numbers are high, some homes have for now introduced restrictions. At the Bocambilia home in Palma, where there are 39 cases, residents are unable to go out for the day. Residents at all homes who are positive are being isolated.

The situation in care homes is being made more difficult because, as with all employment sectors, there is high staff absenteeism. In the space of ten days from January, the number of staff off work because of Covid has gone from 150 to 248.

A month ago, figures for care homes indicated that 80% of residents and personnel had received booster jabs. There are some unvaccinated staff, and they must return three negative tests per week, two of these PCR tests. The Balearic government pays for these tests.