Coronavirus ‘major incident’ declared in North Yorkshire

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Officials in North Yorkshire have declared a major incident following “a surge” in coronavirus cases in the past fortnight, reports the BBC.

The North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) has said it is reinstating “full emergency mode”.

The body, which is made up of representatives from the police and local authorities, said Harrogate and Selby are of particular concern.

Parts of Craven and Scarborough have also seen a sharp rise in cases.

The county’s director of public health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, said there were one to two new cases per day at the end of July, but now there are currently 20 new cases per day.

Coronavirus ‘major incident’ declared in North Yorkshire 1

“We have escalated our concerns nationally and we are targeting our local testing facilities towards the communities and people in greatest need,” he said.

Richard Flinton, chair of NYLRF, said: “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.

“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.” he added.

Concerns about infections in care homes, and testing capacity have also been raised,  the Local Democracy Reporting Service  said.

NYLRF said it was “stepping up support” for care homes, with some being told to reintroduce visitor restrictions.

Other measures include people being encouraged to wear face masks whenever they leave home, and dedicated police patrols targeting those breaking social distancing rules.

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A major incident was first declared at the start of the pandemic, but was subsequently lifted.

Police in the area have also said that they are going to unsure that coronavirus rules are followed.

Superintendent Mike Walker, gold commander for North Yorkshire Police’s response to Covid-19, and the chair of the North Yorkshire Strategic Coordination Group, said: “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.

“However we are asking everyone in North Yorkshire to step up their own level of awareness and response to help us fight the virus here too.

“As a partnership we are strong but we cannot do this alone. So please do the right thing for the county and go the extra mile to keep safe.

“Do everything you can to limit the chances of inadvertently spreading coronavirus.

“Keep your distance, use a face covering and wash your hands regularly. Thank you.”

In East Yorkshire, there have been a further 17 coronavirus cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

The region has seen a significant rise in cases in the last couple of weeks which shows no sign of letting up.

In the last day the number of people to test positive for  Covid-19  in the region has jumped from 3,497 to 3,514 according to the latest  Department of Health  statistics.

It comes as the weekly coronavirus rate in the East Riding of Yorkshire is creeping closer to “amber” levels after a jump in cases last week.

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