Covid-19 cases continue to fall — but more people die after testing positive

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 continue to fall in Richmondshire — but the number of people who have died after testing positive for the virus is still going up.

The latest figures show there were a 115 positive tests in the district in the seven days up to January 25, giving a seven-day average per 100,000 of 214.

The figure is the second highest in North Yorkshire, behind Selby, however it is less than half the rate of 575 recorded on January 4.

The average daily rate for the district has now fallen to 16 new cases.

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics shows a total of 67 people died in the district in 2020 after testing positive for the virus.

A further seven people passed away in the first two weeks of January, taking the death toll to 74.

Of those, four died in hospital, two at home and one in a care home.

Across North Yorkshire, 917 people have lost their lives in the last 12 months after testing positive for Covid.

But Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said there was now “light in the darkness” with the county’s vaccine programme remaining on track.

He added: “We have come on a very long and difficult journey since the first two people in the UK were reported with the virus in York last January.

“But this is also a week where we can see the light in the darkness growing ever brighter as the nation pushes ahead with the vaccination programme and lockdown brings the infection rate down.

“Here in North Yorkshire and York, more than 126,000 of our most vulnerable residents, those aged over 80 and in care homes as well as care home staff, have now been vaccinated – one sixth of the population.

“Residents and staff in all of the county’s 235 residential care settings, apart from those settings with outbreaks and individuals with Covid or recovering from the virus, have been offered the vaccine.

“We have new mass vaccination sites coming on stream over the course of this week and next at Ripon racecourse and Scarborough rugby club and some of our residents in the west of our county will be given the option of getting vaccinated at the large site in West Yorkshire being set up at Elland Road.

“Also, despite reports of vaccines being diverted from Yorkshire to other areas in the country that are lagging behind with the roll-out and despite concerning reports about a block on vaccine exports from Europe, we continue to expect that our North Yorkshire roll-out programme remains on track.

“This is a huge achievement and I wish to thank all our NHS colleagues and social care teams and all our volunteers across the county who have worked so hard to make this happen and continue to work hard as the vaccination programme progresses.”