Covid: Harrogate district infection rate slowing after reaching new record high

Harrogate's coronavirus infection rate has shown early signs of slowing after reaching new record heights.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:24 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:37 pm
Harrogate's infection rate has fallen slightly - but it is still the highest in North Yorkshire and above regional and national averages.

The borough's weekly rate per 100,000 people has fallen slightly from 586 to 560, but is still the highest in North Yorkshire and above regional and national averages.

The rate's previous record was 534 in mid-July and this was broken on 24 September after a sharp rise in infections over a one week period.

Speaking last week, Louise Wallace, director of public health for North Yorkshire, said the rise in infections across the county was being "driven by school-age children".

"From what we can in the terms of the age bandings from the most recent cases, they do seem to be coming from school children and young people," she told a meeting of the county's Outbreak Management Advisory Board on Wednesday.

Ms Wallace also said it was "quite unusual" that the county's infection rate had climbed above the England average.

The latest figures show North Yorkshire's weekly infection rate per 100,000 people currently stands at 451 - above the England average of 336.

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Elsewhere in the county, Scarborough has the second highest infection rate at 485, followed by Hambleton at 456, Selby at 433, Craven at 404, Richmondshire at 311 and Ryedale at 271.

Despite the high rates, the number of infected people needing hospital treatment remains lower than previous waves, with 10 Covid patients at Harrogate District Hospital at the end of September.

Patient numbers previously peaked at 67 in January.

The hospital is also reporting fewer Covid deaths thanks to vaccinations, with the latest death recorded on 30 September.

The hospital's death toll since the pandemic currently stands at 189.

According to latest NHS figures, a total of 128,252 people in the Harrogate district have now received their first vaccine dose and 120,590 people their second.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter