Scarborough has highest rate of confirmed Covid-19 cases in North Yorkshire since pandemic began
New data released shows that Scarborough has had the highest rate of confirmed Covid-19 cases in North Yorkshire since the pandemic began.
A report by the director of Public Health for North Yorkshire Dr Lincoln Sargeant shows the breakdown of cases confirmed by testing across the county.
In his report, as part of North Yorkshire County Council’s Outbreak Control Plan, Dr Sargeant makes the link between Scarborough as the most deprived area in the county and its high number of cases.
However, unlike nationally, it has not led to a higher death rate in Scarborough.
Last year, Scarborough was given a deprivation score of 26.3 by the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), nearly double that of the next highest area in North Yorkshire, Ryedale on 15.7.
Dr Sargeant’s report shows that the borough has rate of confirmed cases of 287.9 per 100,000 people, ahead of Craven in second place with 256.9.
Dr Sargeant writes: “There is little information on COVID-19 inequalities in North Yorkshire.
“[It] shows that Scarborough, the most deprived district, has the highest rate of cases in the county and is fourth out of seven districts in terms of mortality.
“Conversely, Harrogate is the least deprived district yet has the second-highest mortality.”
Nationally, mortality in the most deprived areas is more than double that seen in the least deprived areas.
Scarborough’s mortality rate of 70.9 though, is actually close to the average of the 10 least deprived areas (58.8 deaths per 100,000) than the most deprived areas (128.3).
Dr Sargeant’s report also found the county’s demographics were very different to those nationally when it came to the groups most at risk from the disease.
He wrote: “Nationally, age has been a significant factor in outcomes for Covid-19. North Yorkshire, median age 48.2 years, has a significantly older population compared with the UK average (40.3 years).
“Furthermore, four districts (Craven, Hambleton, Ryedale and Scarborough) have median ages higher than the county average at 50 years and above.
“Furthermore, these districts have a high proportion of residents aged 65+, who are at increased risk of death from Covid-19.
“Nationally, people from many ethnic minority groups are significantly more likely to die from Covid-19 than their white counterparts.
“It is not well understood why this should be.
"North Yorkshire (1.7%) has a lower proportion of its population from ethnic minority groups compared with England (13.6%).
“Craven district (3.2%) has the highest proportion of people from ethnic minority groups in the county.”
Dr Sargeant’s report adds that as of June 23 there were 1,350 confirmed cases in North Yorkshire and 498 deaths, though he added the county could be “lagging behind” the UK as a whole.
North Yorkshire County Council launched the Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan last week to show how it will manage the virus over time as part of the national Test and Trace programme.
Dr Sargeant’s report shows that individual towns or even streets could be put into lockdown if outbreaks occur.
It states: “As part of the development and implementation of the local Outbreak Control Plan the Government has indicated the potential for local lockdowns.
"Under the plans, the new Joint Biosecurity Centre is expected to use data and analytics to identify risks in order to offer advice.
“Most interventions are expected to be at local level, with councils potentially called upon to close down towns or a few streets.
“Currently, lockdown powers sit with ministers however there is a potential that responsibility may be passed to councils.”
Dr Sargeant adds that the fire service has also been distributing swab tests in bulk to care homes in Scarborough in response to potential outbreaks and that this will now be rolled out across the county.
The control plan will also see public health experts work with the public, businesses, the NHS, Public Health England, local government partners and the community and voluntary sector.
Speaking at its launch last week Dr Sargeant said: “It ensures there are clear protocols in place to respond wherever they might happen and outlines how we will focus on preventing infection in the first place through good education and guidance.
“As part of the NHS national Test and Trace programme the outcome will be that we can support the county, its residents, businesses, workforce and visitors to return to normal life safely.
The plan in North Yorkshire is overseen by an Outbreak Management Advisory Board, chaired by county council Leader, Cllr Carl Les.
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