Covid: Rise in admissions and deaths at Harrogate hospital as infection rate remains highest in Yorkshire

There has been an increase in Covid patient numbers and deaths at Harrogate hospital as the district's infection rate remains the highest in Yorkshire.
Harrogate District Hospital.Harrogate District Hospital.
Harrogate District Hospital.

The hospital was treating 18 Covid patients on Tuesday - an increase from 13 the same last week and the highest total since March when the hospital was recovering from peak pressure.

Two deaths were also reported at the hospital on 8 and 11 October, according to latest NHS figures. This increase takes the hospital's Covid death toll since the pandemic began up to 191.

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Although hospitalisations and deaths have increased recently, they do remain lower than previous waves such as when patient numbers peaked at 67 in January.

These lower levels are thanks to vaccinations which are weakening the link between infections and serious illness.

A total of 129,466 people in the Harrogate district have received their first vaccine dose and 121,080 their second, according to latest Public Health England figures.

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It comes as the district's infection rate remains the highest in Yorkshire after another sharp rise in cases.

The district's weekly rate per 100,000 people currently stands at 646 and has been on an upward trend since mid-September, according to latest Public Health England figures.

The latest rate is the 19th highest in England and well above the country's average of 375.

It is also another record for the district which has seen cases climb steadily since mid-September.

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Prior to this period, the rate's previous record was 534 on 18 July.

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

The latest figures for Harrogate show infections are highest among five to 19-year-olds, although cases among 40 to 49-year-olds are also high.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter