Scarborough health chiefs warn of 'scary' rise in Covid cases in some age groups, as more testing units brought in

Alarm is growing over a “pretty scary” rise in coronavirus infection rates in Scarborough borough.
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Council, police and health chiefs are pleading with residents to take extra care to follow safety rules after a surge in cases in the borough.

The most marked increases are being seen in children and adults aged between 30 and 40.

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Richard Webb, director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “There has been quite a dramatic rise in infections in the Scarborough district.


“I have to say, personally, there are some pretty scary increases among children and young people, and in the 30 to 40 age group.

“Some of those adults will be parents and others will not be but they will work in more exposed working environments, or not following the rules

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The latest seven-day infection rate is now 247.3 cases per 100,000 people - up from 214 on Friday.

In a bid to tackle the rise, six extra mobile testing units are being operated in the Scarborough district over the festive period.

There are also plans for more targeted messaging in the borough, aimed at trying to encourage people to adhere to coronavirus safety advice.

“Most people are keeping to the rules and I want to say a big thank you to people for doing that,” said Mr Webb.

“It’s the minority of people who are letting the side down.

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“We’re entering a difficult and new phase of this virus so we’re asking people to follow the rules.”

He was speaking at a briefing by the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum which also heard that, as of Sunday, there were 176 Covid-19 patients in North Yorkshire hospitals, including 21 in intensive care.

Scarborough Hospital had 36 patients with coronavirus - two fewer than the previous week.

There were initially six sites in North Yorkshire offering the vaccine against coronavirus and that number will have risen to 12 by Christmas Eve.

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North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health Louise Wallace described the current infection levels as “not a great place to be going into Christmas in”.

On Friday, there were warnings from council chiefs that residents needed to help avoid "a New Year spike in Covid-19 cases", like the one seen locally in November.

Scarborough Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council said if the increases in cases continue at the same pace, the area would face the prospect of Tier 3 restrictions.

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They warned that will mean more disruption for the whole community and, especially, the local economy.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a tightening of restrictions in England amid concerns over the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus.

The Christmas “bubble” policy – allowing up to three households to meet up over the holiday period – has been severely curtailed, applying on Christmas Day only.

In North Yorkshire and elsewhere, council chiefs say transmission within households remains the biggest factor in the number of cases and, as Christmas approaches, people are being urged to think carefully before meeting family or friends.