Harrogate infection rates less than a third of average, but health officials ask for caution and compliance

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The North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum met this morning to brief the media (21 December 2020)

Main Points

  • England average is 282 infections per 100,000 (from 202 at the last report)
  • Harrogate is 86.4 infections per 100,000 (from 81.5 at the last report)
  • North Yorkshire Police said they had given out a number of penalties for tier 3 visitors to tier 2 North Yorkshire
  • Tier review is due on 30 December 2020
  • Vaccine rollout continuing
  • No confirmed cases of covid-19 variant in North Yorkshire
  • Plenty of testing capacity (PCR)
  • Staggered return of schools
  • Non-mandatory lateral flow testing to be rolled out within schools
  • The sentiment of the group was to not become complacent and to follow the rules

Police

Number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) handed out over the weekend, especially to tier 3 visitors to tier 2, York.

  • Re-affirmed that the policing is by consent, and they need the support of the public
  • 74 FPNs issued this weekend
  • Of that 74  – 61 issued in York and 12 Scarborough
  • In York 61 FPNs split as so –  55 to tier 3 visitors in breach of tier 3 regulations and 6 to local residents for tier 2 breaches
  • In Scarborough 12 FPNs split – 11 to residents for tier 2 breaches and 1 tier 3 visitor in breach of their tier 3 restrictions.
  • Only other one is Richmond – 1 FPN issued to a local resident in breach of tier 2 indoor gathering rule
  • Continuing a strategy of engaging first, but some have refused to disperse when asked to

North Yorkshire Police has a low rate of infection and a low rate of self-isolation.

Infection Rates

7 day infection rate/ 100,000 (week to 21 December)

  • England Average 282.2
  • North Yorkshire 129.0
  • Scarborough 253.2
  • Craven 133.0
  • Selby 141.2
  • Harrogate 86.4
  • Richmond 117.3
  • Ryedale 79.5
  • Hambleton 77.5

7 day infection rate/ 100,000 (week to 16 December)

  • England Average 202.9
  • North Yorkshire 101.3
  • Scarborough 174.7
  • Craven 110.3
  • Selby 121.4
  • Harrogate 81.5
  • Richmond 85.6
  • Ryedale 54
  • Hambleton 49.1

Harrogate with a population of around 75,000 that means around 57 cases in period.

Carehomes

  • 46 care homes with cases
  • 30 care homes with 1 or more cases

PCR Testing

  • Testing capability remains “good”
  • Slight, but not dramatic, increase in testing.
  • Harrogate test site is undertaking the most tests
  • Scarborough has the highest utilisation (percentage of capacity)

Lateral Flow Testing

  • Has previously been used in other areas for community hotspots, but tier 3
  • There sas a recent announcement that LFT would be offered to some tier 2 areas. Not clear which yet.
  • Roll out for care homes has begun – 2 x nominated visitors and professionals
  • Expectation next round to include residents and staff
  • LTF testing to be rolled out to secondary schools in the new year – not mandatory and creates a logistical challenge

Covid variant

  • No confirmed cases in North Yorkshire
  • A variant is not unexpected
  • No reason to believe it is more serious
  • The variant may be more transmissible

Hospitals

  • Continue to see a plateauing of cases/
  • Currently, 21 cases in ICU
  • Trust have asked that ICU cases are not broken down by trust as they are slow it could identify an individual.

Hospital in-patients with Covid-19 (21 December 2020)

  • All hospitals – 176 ( up 2)
  • Harrogate – 14 (down 21)
  • York – 46 (up 11)
  • Scarborough 36 (down 2)
  • South Tees 80 (no change)
  • Darlington 36 (down 8)
  • Airedale 37 (up 8)

Staff Absences

  • Staff absences (sickness or self-isolating) – 244 (up 28)

Metrics for seriousness of cases

  • Requiring hospitalization
  • Length of stay
  • Requiring intensive care
  • Number of deaths

All metrics are lower in wave 2 than wave 1

Vaccine Program

  • North Yorkshire has 6 sites where the vaccine is being given
  • There will be 12 sites by 24 December
  • Further sites to follow
  • Currently, collating data to provide a weekly update of the numbers
  • Vaccine needs to be used within 3.5 days of reaching a vaccine site

Education

A report for the attendance at schools was not given at this meeting.

  • There will be a staggered return of secondary schools only.
  • Students and exam year groups years 11 and 14, vulnerable children and children of critical workers will attend from week starting 4 January
  • Face to face starting on the 11 January
  • Exams scheduled for week starting 4 January will go ahead
  • Webinair to take place on 4 January with schools

 

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