A DAUGHTER has raised further concerns that a Newton Aycliffe care home is not taking the isolation of coronavirus residents 'seriously' as it emerged their mother tested positive for the virus last week.

Lewis Mairis said she had been left deeply distressed as she claimed staff at Rose Lodge Care Home admitted they could not get their 82-year-old mother to stay in her room, despite having the virus.

The care home has since said the health and wellbeing of its residents and staff is their utmost priority and said staff were continuing to provide care in line with government guidelines.

Ms Mairis previously claimed a care home staff member had advised her that a new intake of residents had not been isolated when they arrived.

At the time, she said she had received a letter informing relatives that a resident had tested positive, and that other residents displayed symptoms.

But speaking to The Northern Echo, Ms Mairis said they could no longer 'trust' what the care home told them, as they raised numerous concerns following a visit last Saturday.

She said: "We had called the care home to let them know we were going down – we'd visited a couple of times, and we saw mum from outside behind a window.

"When we arrived this time, a member of staff said 'what are you doing here' and we initially got the reaction that somebody hadn't been told.

"Another member of staff then came and said they couldn't let people from upstairs go downstairs and vice versa – because they were isolating. My mother lives on the first floor."

Prior to the visit, Ms Mairis said she had not been told residents were again isolating or that their mother, who has a form of dementia, had been tested for the virus.

She said: "The staff member mentioned all residents and staff had been tested on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and she said my mum had tested negative.

"After going home, I later called to see if I could find out when my mum had been tested and they said we’ll let you know as soon as the test results are in.

"I said we've been told she's negative and then they said her test results aren't back yet."

Ms Mairis said it was not until she phoned the care home the next day with her concerns, that she discovered her mother had tested positive for Covid-19.

She said: "They told me she had tested positive and that they were isolating her.

"I can’t trust them, first somebody lied or got it wrong, telling us that mum was negative when the result weren't even in."

Ms Mairis went on to say questions needed to be answered as she accused the care home of not taking the isolation of residents seriously.

She said: "They told us she’s in her room when they can get her to stay in it. They are not isolating them properly.

"I know they can't lock them in their rooms but they should be able to come up with an area or zone where Covid residents can go, when they need to leave their rooms.

"This woman is Covid-19 positive, and she’s wandering around. She could be passing it on.

"I’d love to think she will be fine and that we can meet in two weeks, but I can’t believe anything they say.

"It strikes me as being so preventable, it is the most frustrating thing in the world, my mum is in there, she’s now got Covid-19 I believe it could have been prevented."

In response to Ms Mairis' claims, the care home said it had been in regular contact with relatives.

A spokesperson for Rose Lodge said: "Staff at the care home are in regular contact with relatives and have regularly spoken with Ms Maris sister who is listed as primary contact.

"We will continue to maintain open lines of communication.

"The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our utmost priority, and as a result, we can confirm that the staff continue to provide care in line with government guidelines."

Ms Mairis' criticisms came as Durham County Council was forced to refute claims that its actions had 'caused or increased' a number of coronavirus-related deaths in care homes.

Durham County Council responded to criticism by the County Durham Care Home Association (CDCHA) over the practice of moving hospital patients into care without Covid-19 testing, or following a positive diagnosis.

Earlier this week, some patients went from University Hospital of North Durham to Melbury Court Care Home where 24 people have now died with symptoms of the virus, the highest in the UK.