CARE home bosses say they hope they are over the worst of an outbreak of Covid-19 amid fears several residents died from the virus.

Millard House care home, in Bocking, says none of its staff or residents have displayed coronavirus symptoms for five weeks and bosses are quietly confident the home is now free of the infection.

Staffing levels are said to have returned to near normal and residents were able to come together and celebrate VE Day in the home's garden.

Back in April, director Rahul Jagota revealed a resident had died from Covid-19 and expressed his fears about a lack of support for the social care industry during the pandemic.

It is still not known how many cases or deaths linked to Covid-19 have occurred in the home since March but bosses say they believe they have "come through the worst" of the crisis.

Home administrator Sue Wells said: "We seemed to be one of the first homes to be hit really hard by the virus.

"We did sadly lose quite a few people but we still don't know the exact number because it takes a while to get the information back.

"It caused a lot of anxiety and worry at the time but staff have been working tremendously hard to turn things around and we are hoping that is now the case.

"We have had to weather the storm but have not had any signs of infections for three weeks now and want to send out a positive message to other care homes that it is possible to get the virus under control.

"It was great to celebrate VE Day in the garden and felt like a double celebration in many ways."

At the worst of the outbreak in the care home, all residents were forced to isolate in their rooms and staff members forced to stay away if they displayed any coronavirus symptoms.

Bosses fear taking on new patients from hospitals may have been the cause of the outbreak but say with little testing available at the time, they may never know how Covid-19 spread so quickly in the home.

Visitors remain banned from entering the care home and all staff are asked to follow strict protective clothing procedures to keep residents safe.

And with Essex County Council planning to ramp up testing in care homes, bosses at Millard House remain hopeful they can keep Covid-19 out of the home.

Deputy manager Emerson Panlilio added: "We are still on high alert but the new mobile testing will help to give piece of mind.

"It is disappointing it wasn't on offer earlier and we do think more could have been done to support us.

"The directors had to secure PPE themselves and we have still not had a huge amount of testing done.

"But we really hope we can keep up the good work and all of the procedures in place will keep everyone here safe and healthy."