Covid case rate hits new record high in Harrogate but just three patients in hospital
Covid is now spreading at record rates in the Harrogate district with an average of 117 infections per day as health officials warn the third wave may not peak until September.
However, hospital admissions remain low with just three patients at the district hospital and there has not been a Covid-related death there in more than three months thanks to high levels of vaccine uptake.
Harrogate s weekly infection rate is now 509 cases per 100,000 people - just over the previous record of 497 in January when many more people were becoming seriously ill with the disease.
Richard Webb, director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council, told a meeting of the county's Local Resilience Forum today that infection rates reaching record heights across the region was a "bleak and depressing record".
He said: "We see a significant spread of the virus amongst younger people, however, case numbers are increasing in all age groups.
“The current county average across North Yorkshire is 570 per 100,000 and that is the highest recorded figure that we have had. That is quite stark in terms of the situation that we are currently facing.
"We are potentially living with this very high level of numbers throughout the period during August and September.
"I'm sad to say this is likely to continue for some time."
Across North Yorkshire, there are now 112 Covid patients in hospital - up from 80 last week.
This includes three patients in both Harrogate and Scarborough, 19 in York and 87 in South Tees.
Mr Webb added: "The health and social care system in North Yorkshire and York, as with most places around England, is under exceptional pressure at the moment, not just from people presenting with Covid but also other illnesses.
"In previous waves of the pandemic, a lot of older people were affected and many very sadly were dying. However, we know that there are some very serious cases at the moment for younger people - and we also don't yet know the full impact of long Covid.
"We are concerned for all ages of the population, particularly for people who are not vaccinated and that is why we have this heartfelt plea to ask you to go and get your vaccinations.
"That will give you your best line of defence and protection."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter