Residents warned to obey stricter coronavirus rules as infection rate rises in Scarborough
Residents in Scarborough are being asked to wear face coverings when they leave the house as rising coronavirus rates continue across the borough.
A warning has been issued by North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum which says that infection rates are going up across the borough but particularly in Scarborough and Selby.
The forum, which includes the emergency services, local authorities and the NHS. and is issuing a call for people to be vigilant as cases have more than quadrupled over the past fortnight.
In Scarborough, plans are being put in place to restrict visits to care homes if required and warnings have been issued that there is evidence of increased community transmission in Whitby.
The forum is reinstating its full emergency mode in the whole of the Scarborough and Selby districts, people are asked to:
Exercise extra vigilance in maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing
Use face coverings when leaving home while circulating infection levels are increasing
Avoid large groupings of more than 30 people
Events organisers to re-think any indoor or outdoor events that involve more than 30 people;
Take extra care when leaving home if you have an underlying health condition or have been advised to shield.
Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council and chairman of the forum, said: “Together, over the past six months, all of us who live and work in North Yorkshire have made a huge effort to prevent and reduce the spread of Covid-19 locally.
“We thank everybody again for their many sacrifices. However, as we have seen nationally and around the world, cases are rising again and the threat of the virus is a real and present danger.
“In North Yorkshire we have remained at a high level of alert since lockdown eased and we have monitored and managed outbreaks where they have happened very successfully with Test and Trace.
“We have secured good access to reliable PPE kit, supported individuals, communities, care services, schools, businesses and the county’s more frail residents.
“However, we are seeing community transmission of the virus now and a worrying rise in cases in a number of areas. We know how quickly infection rates can change and we are calling on the whole county to act now with us in response.
“Please show extra restraint and caution and to take additional actions above and beyond those required nationally to help us try to avoid another lockdown here.”
Superintendent Mike Walker, gold commander for North Yorkshire Police’s response to Covid19, and the chairman of the North Yorkshire Strategic Coordination Group, added: “This week we have seen the introduction of the new ‘rule of six’ nationally, in response to the rise in positive cases across England.
“We have taken a number of measures to reassure the public that we understand how important sticking to the covid rules are to protect our residents, communities and economy.
“This now includes having dedicated patrol cars out and about, crewed by officers who will use the tried and tested ‘four Es’ process where they will engage with groups who are not following the rules, explain what the rules are and encourage them to follow them, only using enforcement as a last resort.”
The group said there are issues getting tests across the county, a situation that is being played out across the country.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said: “There are significant limitations with laboratory capacity nationally, as demand for tests increases. We know that government is working to address this situation but, in the meantime, it means that fewer test appointments are available and test results are taking longer to be processed.
“This issue is a national one and outside of our control. We have escalated our concerns nationally and we are targeting our local testing facilities towards the communities and people in greatest need.”