Carers and relatives of those who died at Melbury Court describe trying to cope with the outbreak

Tears flowed at Melbury Court in Durham as the Covid-19 death toll ticked up toward 26, the worst known outbreak in a UK care home. Only 20 of its 82 residents, many of them with dementia, escaped infection.

Peggy Dixon, a fervent football fan who liked to reminisce about the 1966 World Cup matches she attended, died on 14 May. Her coffin was draped in the blue and white hoops of QPR, her favourite team. Lilian Wilkinson, a former factory worker and Salvation Army stalwart, died the next day. The women, like many of the Melbury Court coronavirus victims, had lived at the home for years. They were beloved by staff as well as their families.

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