'No time to relax': County chief says new virus variant 'is in every part of North Yorkshire now'

Scarborough borough’s Covid-19 infection rate has risen slightly as warnings continue for people not to let down their guard.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 28th January 2021, 9:12 am
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2021, 9:19 am

The borough’s seven day infection rate per 100,000 people now stands at 117, up from 113 yesterday but down from 230 seven days ago.

The average rate for England is 351 while in North Yorkshire it is 199, with both continuing to trend downwards.

Last night, Richard Flinton. North Yorkshire County Council’s chief executive, warned that while it was good that rates were falling it was not the time to relax.

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He said: “Compared to summer months these rates are still high and this is no time for complacency.

“The death toll is a grim reminder that we must stick to the rules of staying home, wearing face masks, keeping a social distance and washing hands regularly.

“The background rate for Covid is still comparatively high and it is too soon to say that we have turned a corner; that this is a sustainable downward trend. With the highly transmissible variant of the virus now in every part of North Yorkshire, it would not take much for infection rates to shoot back up again. The vast majority of our population is still susceptible to contracting Covid.

“And we must not forget that while infection rates are falling now, the death rate continues to rise and our hospitals and clinical staff remain under enormous pressure.

“There are 504 patients with Covid in the four hospitals for York and North Yorkshire, an increase of 33 from last week and the highest we have ever had.

“As many as 61 are in intensive care.

“And we still have one or more cases of Covid in 87 of our care settings, not as high as last spring, but 11 up on last week.

“We continue to work in partnership with care providers with training, reviews and advice in the 24/7 effort to get cases and outbreaks down as quickly as possible.”

Mobile testing sites will be once again Whitby, Scarborough and Filey this week for anyone with symptoms to get tested.

To see the locations and to book a test visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/book-coronavirus-covid-19-test

William Street Coach Park in Scarborough is still offering testing seven days a week from 8am until 8pm.

Tests can be booked at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.