Further increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations in North Yorkshire

James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.

The number of patients with Covid-19 in the region’s hospitals is continuing to rise as cases in North Yorkshire reach their highest level since early January.

There are now 80 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in North Yorkshire and at James Cook in Middlesbrough, up from 47 seven days ago.

The number of patients in intensive care is up to 12, double what it was last week.

North Yorkshire’s seven day infection rate per 100,000 people is now 355 with more than 2,000 new infections since this time last week.

In Richmondshire, the seven day rate per 100,000 people has risen to 391 with 210 new cases in the seven days to July 11.

Amanda Bloor, NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s accountable officer, told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum today that hospital numbers had not reached the levels of previous waves.

She said: “The last time that the infection rate across North Yorkshire and York was at 300 per 100,000 population, and it is slightly higher than that now, was back in late January and at that point there were over 400 patients in hospital beds across North Yorkshire.

“So whilst we can see that the numbers are increasing they are not at the height of the numbers that they were back in January when the vaccine program was at its very early stage.”

Mrs Bloor said that across Yorkshire those being admitted to hospital tended to be younger than in previous waves and were mainly among those who had not yet taken up the offer of a vaccine.

She added that while the vaccine was making a difference to the numbers of people being admitted to hospital but warned that people should continue to be careful when restrictions are lifted on Monday.

Mrs Bloor said: “Whilst the rules are changing as we move towards next Monday we all still have the power to ensure that the behaviours that we exhibit help prevent the spread of infections, to help stop other people becoming infected and help protect yourself and your families and I would encourage everyone to make responsible choices as we emerge from the final stage of lockdown next week.”

At the same meeting Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s director of Public Health said that the rise in the number of Covid cases tended to be concentrated in those under the age of 35 but that they were now starting to see increases in older people also.

She encouraged people to continue to keep taking precautions even after restrictions are lifted.

She said: “We are going to take the next step to stage four on the roadmap and it is about living with Covid and I urge people to think of the combination of things that we can all do to protect ourselves, our friends, our families and communities.

“Whilst it is now the summer and we are enjoying meeting up and doing things that we could not do a few months ago there are things that we should all do to respect and protect each other.

“This includes meeting in well ventilated areas, where possible outdoors or with windows open if we are indoors.

“Wear face coverings when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet or in an enclosed or crowded space.”