Residents in North Yorkshire have been urged to “embrace” the latest national lockdown as the vaccine roll-out in the county picks up pace.
The new national stay at home measures were announced last night by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and will last at least until late February.
Speaking today, Richard Flinton, chairman of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum said that there was “light at the end of the tunnel” and urged residents in the county to abide by the restrictions whilst people are vaccinated.
He said: “This would be a terrible time to lose a loved one when the end is in sight of this pandemic.
“So, we just need to work together for a little bit longer, embrace the lockdown, follow the procedures, stay at home and there will be a way through this in the end.”
The forum heard that infection levels were continuing to rise in North Yorkshire and were expected increase further in the coming weeks when the impact of Christmas household mixing was felt.
Mr Flinton added that if the national lockdown had not been brought it the county would have been moved into Tier 4 restrictions due to the spread of the virus.
Amanda Bloor, NHS North Yorkshire CCG Accountable Officer, told the meeting that there are currently 271 people in hospital with Covid-19 in North Yorkshire, a rise of 70 from a week ago.
Thirty-four of the patients are in intensive care.
In April, at the peak of the pandemic, the county had 302 patients in hospital with the virus.
However, she said the county was expecting to take it first delivery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine later this week, which would speed up the vaccination process.
Mrs Bloor added: “What our focus will be this week is to get a plan together around vaccination in care homes as quickly and as safely as we can.”