Covid-19 restrictions lifted - but North Yorkshire residents urged to 'take great care'

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People across North Yorkshire are asked to carry on being considerate towards each other now Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Covid rates in North Yorkshire remain high at 999.1 per 100,000 population and 371 beds in hospitals serving North Yorkshire’s residents are occupied with Covid patients, 11 in intensive care.

Hundreds of education settings are affected by staff and pupil absences due to the virus and more than 396 residents and staff in care settings across the county have tested Covid-19 positive.

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So North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, Louise Wallace, is asking people to take care when out and about.

Liz Kemp in her Malton store.Liz Kemp in her Malton store.
Liz Kemp in her Malton store.

She said: “We have to thank residents for the huge effort they have made to follow the rules and the guidance over the last two years and who have shown great consideration for others to get us to this point.

"We must thank all those also who have come forward for vaccination.

“Now we can enjoy those greater freedoms and learn to live with Covid; but it is worth bearing in mind that rates are still very high and some people are still very poorly with the virus so let’s just take some care in how we go on in our daily lives."

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She recommends good ventilation and letting fresh air into indoor spaces as well as face masks to protect the wearer as well as others.

Although the vaccination uptake in North Yorkshire has been one of the highest nationally, at 80 per cent of the eligible population, people who remain unvaccinated are reminded once again that this is an evergreen offer and it is never too late to come forward.

Amanda Bloor, chief accountable officer for the North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said getting the vaccine remained people's best defence against serious illness caused byt he virus.

"Whether you're yet to have your first COVID vaccination, or you're due a booster dose, there are lots of opportunities across North Yorkshire and York to access the COVID vaccine at walk-in clinics and bookable appointments through the NHS National Booking Service.

"You can search online or call 119.

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"There are a number of sites across the county and I would encourage everyone to come forward; it's not too late to get a first dose.

"It's also worth remembering that, while face coverings will no longer be mandatory in many settings, the requirement to wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing remain in place in healthcare settings such as doctors' surgeries and hospitals."

Richard Webb, Director of Health and Adult Services at North Yorkshire County Council said people should use their common sense and continue to wash hands and wear a face mask if they felt a need in confined and busy places.

"If unvaccinated, they still had the offer to come forward and “grab a jab”.

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Liz Kemp, the owner of Kemps General Store in Malton and Whitby, said it was still important to be cautious.

She said: “Our staff will make a choice on face masks – it has been so hard not being able to see people smile and if you wear glasses, working with a face mask eight hours a day has been so very difficult!

"But we all need to carry on being careful for the time being.”

North Yorkshire County Council has redeployed tens of people from its wider workforce who have stepped forward during the current Omicron spike to volunteer for social care roles because of reduced staffing levels.

Staff have been reorganised into different roles and taken on different duties to help keep people safe and well.