Police investigating a Covid-19 outbreak at a care home in Sidmouth say five people are now confirmed to have died.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the deaths are all thought to be related to the large-scale outbreak at Holmesley Care Home, in Fortescue Road, Sidford.
A further ten residents with coronavirus are being treated at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
And one member of staff from the care home is currently in hospital with Covid-19.
Police, continuing to investigate the circumstances of the outbreak at Holmesley Care Home, say there have been five deaths since Sunday March 6, and all of the deceased tested positive for Covid-19.
Post-mortems have been carried out on three of residents who have died.
Agency staff have been drafted in to care for remaining residents at the home, while staff are self-isolating, say police.
Devon and Cornwall Police launched an investigation following concerns about the outbreak.
Officers are speaking to staff and carrying out a search of the care home as part of the force’s investigations into the outbreak.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: “Five deaths have now been reported at a care home in Sidford, East Devon, which are all believed to be related to an outbreak of Covid-19.
“Devon and Cornwall Police is continuing to investigate the circumstances of the outbreak at Holmesley Care Home.
“A significant number of residents and staff have tested positive with Covid-19 and there have now been five deaths since Sunday 6 March.
“The deceased residents all tested positive for Covid-19.
“Ten residents are being treated at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with Covid-19.
“One member of staff is currently in hospital with Covid-19.
“While staff are self-isolating, agency staff have been brought in to care for the residents who remain at the home.
“The police investigation was launched following concerns about the outbreak.
“As part of their enquiries, officers are speaking to staff and conducted a search of the home. Post-mortems have been conducted on three of the deceased residents.
“The investigation is currently being led by Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with a multi-agency safeguarding response in order to maintain safeguarding of those residents in the home.”
Chief Superintendent Dan Evans, Devon and Cornwall Police north, east and west Devon commander, said: “This is a complex investigation involving ourselves and multi-agency partners with safeguarding of residents at its core.
“There is significant work underway to understand the current situation and progress the investigation as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety of care home residents, staff, police officers and partner agency staff.”
Mr Evans said police were doing ‘everything possible’ to help the bereaved families and those with relatives remaining at the home.