Escalation in Covid-19 cases across North Yorkshire: 'We must all follow the guidance to protect ourselves and each other'

We must protect ourselves and each other, says the leader of North Yorkshire County Council, as Scarborough and the rest of the county has seen a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

The county has seen a significant rise in cases during the last week, particularly among young people.

North Yorkshire County Council Leader Councillor Carl Les said: “We are seeing an escalation in the number of cases. While this remains lower than in some neighbouring towns and cities, such as Middlesbrough and Leeds, there is no room for complacency.

"Now is the time that we must all follow the guidance to protect ourselves and each other.

Covid-19 testing at Scarborough

"We don’t want people to be over-anxious, but everyone needs to be vigilant.

"The sacrifices people have made during the pandemic were outstanding and we must all stick to the guidance to avoid a second spike.

“We want people to be able to continue to get back to enjoying again the activities they were used to enjoying.

Dr Lincoln Sargent

"But to do that we must keep a firm grip on the vital precautions that became routine to us earlier in the year.”

The county council says it is working closely with Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and environmental health partners in a bid to understand the spread of the virus in local communities and take appropriate actions to control outbreaks.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said Scarborough has seen the second highest rise in North Yorkshire, with most of the recent cases reported in Whitby.

He said the number of North Yorkshire residents admitted to hospital remains low and no deaths have been reported since July 20.

Increases have been seen across the county, but particularly in the Selby, Scarborough and Harrogate districts.

The week from September 1 to 7 saw 129 new cases in North Yorkshire, including 28 in the Harrogate district, 31 in Scarborough district and 36 in Selby district.

“Across North Yorkshire in the last two weeks, the average daily numbers have increased from six-a-day to 11 a day. In Scarborough borough, most recent cases have been in the Whitby area," he said.

"We know that the majority of recent infections appear to be among younger people, those under 30. Most of the cases are spread within households, and we are aware of a small number of outbreaks related to workplaces and the hospitality sector.

“A crucial step in controlling the spread of the virus is for people to limit unnecessary interactions with others. Avoid socialising outside of your social bubbles. In going about daily activities observe social distancing guidance and wear face coverings where it is not possible to maintain two metre social distance."

Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “People must adhere to the precautions we have been taking since the start of the pandemic. These remain as important as ever.

"People should stick to the twometre social distancing guidance wherever possible and wear a face covering in crowded places, as well as washing or sanitising their hands frequently.

"Private gatherings, whether indoors or out, should be limited to no more than six people or two households.”