The Upper Dales area of Richmondshire has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent days.
There were 45 positive tests in the area, which includes upper Wensleydale, Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and upper Coverdale, in the seven days up until January 2.
The rolling seven-day rate per 100,000 people of 754 for this area of the district is one of the highest in North Yorkshire, with only an area of Whitby and Upper Wharfedale having higher rates.
Elsewhere in the district, the number of positive tests and rolling rate per 100,000 people were:
- Richmond Town – 57 positive tests – 680 cases per 100,000 people
- Catterick Garrison and Colburn – 82 – 482
- Leyburn, Middleham and Tunstall – 25 – 290
- Catterick and Brompton on Swale – 31 – 501
- North Richmondshire – 19 – 249
Richmondshire as a whole currently has the highest rate in the county.
There were 259 positive tests in the district in the seven days to January 2, giving a rate per 100,000 people of 482.
This rate could climb higher after provisional figures showed there were 67 positive tests on January 4 – the highest number on a single days since the pandemic began.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows 63 people from Richmondshire have died after testing positive for Covid-19.
Upper Dales county councillor Yvonne Peacock last night urged local residents to stay at home if possible and abide by social distancing rules.
North Yorkshire health bosses have said they expect virus case numbers to rise further until the effects of the lockdown are felt.
Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s new director of public health, said people should assume the new, more transmissible, variant of Covid-19 was in North Yorkshire and obey the lockdown rules.
“We need to remember that coronavirus is spread through contact,” she said. “We are under national restrictions that mean people must stay at home.
“When we do leave our homes, it must be for a justifiable reason and we must all adhere to strict social distancing and wear our face coverings.
“My key message is please stay home and stay safe.”
Richard Flinton, chair of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, which includes county and district councils, the NHS and emergency services, said the national lockdown was needed to protect the most vulnerable whilst the vaccine roll-out is accelerated.
“This is a time for us to provide stability while our colleagues in the NHS roll out the vaccine,” he said. “We have that light at the end of the tunnel of the vaccine, so people need to embrace this lockdown, to comply with the rules.
“This would be a terrible time to lose a loved one when the end of this pandemic is in sight. We just need to work together for a little bit longer, follow the rules and stay at home.”
For more information on the latest data click here.