There were 4,343 coronavirus-related deaths reported by care home providers in England in two weeks, according to the healthcare regulator.
The figure – from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – covers the fortnight to 24 April.
It is based on care home providers’ assessment of whether COVID-19 was involved in a resident’s death.
It may or may not correspond with a medical diagnosis, or be mentioned on the death certificate.
The figure was revealed in data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – which also showed weekly deaths from all causes reached the highest point since comparable records began in 1993.
There were 22,351 deaths in the week ending 17 April – up from 3,835 the previous week – and 11,854 more than the five-year average.
COVID-19 was mentioned in 8,758 deaths registered during the week – 39.3% of the total. Last week, the figure was 6,213 and 33.6%.
In London, 55.5% of deaths involved the virus, in the North West and North East it was 42.3% and 41.1% respectively.
ONS figures cover all deaths in England and Wales where coronavirus is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate – whether in or out of hospital.
The virus may not always be the main cause of death, but may be a contributory factor.
The ONS figures are higher than those issued by the Department of Health, which record only deaths in hospitals for people who have tested positive.
Following concerns that the impact on care homes is being underestimated, figures from England’s independent healthcare regulator, the CQC, were included for the first time in this week’s release.
ONS data (looking only at death certificates) for coronavirus-linked care home deaths in England and Wales shows 3,096 deaths from the start of the year to 17 April.
That is up from 1,043 the week before – a rise of 2,053.
The vast majority of COVID-19 deaths this year (14,796 or 77.4%) have happened in hospital, according to the ONS.
There have also been 883 in private homes and 190 in hospices.