Covid cases double in Harrogate district as infection rates rise for first time since January

The number of Covid cases in Harrogate has more than doubled this month as infection rates rise for the first time since January.

By Jacob Webster
Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:21 am
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:22 am
Oxford Street, Harrogate.
Oxford Street, Harrogate.

The district's weekly infection rate currently stands at 758 cases per 100,000 people - up from 343 at the start of the month.

This comes after Covid restrictions such as mask-wearing in public spaces were lifted across England in February as part of the government's Living with Covid plan.

Harrogate's latest infection rate is the highest in North Yorkshire and above the England average of 711, although Covid hospitalisations and deaths have remained stable.

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Harrogate District Hospital said it had 25 Covid-positive patients on Wednesday, with five of these patients primarily in hospital for treatment for the virus.

The hospital last recorded a Covid-related death on 28 February, with its death toll since the pandemic began standing at 232.

Speaking at a council meeting today, councillor Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services and health integration at North Yorkshire County Council, said: "The recent rises reflect the national picture and it is fair to say that whilst infections are rising, hospitalisations as a result of Covid aren't.

"That said, the number of people in hospital who have Covid is rising, but it is important to make the distinction that these are people who are in hospital for other reasons and have transpired to have Covid because they have been tested."

Councillor Harrison, who also sits on Harrogate Borough Council, added that while fewer people were falling seriously ill with Covid, the virus was still putting pressure on health and care services.

He said over 30 care homes across North Yorkshire were currently dealing with outbreaks of two or more cases, with a further 17 home care providers dealing with similar situations.

Councillor Harrison told today's meeting of the Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee: "We can see we are coming out of this pandemic, but there is still quite a negative impact on the hospital and care sectors.

"The care sector remains fragile with resourcing constraints having an impact on hospital discharges and the general availability of care."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter