Numbers remain 'scarily high' as hospital and health chiefs urge Harrogate residents to stay at home

Health leaders have described the Covid infection rate across North Yorkshire as 'scarily high' and insisted the stay at home message remains critical as pressure continues to mount on our hospitals.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 3:09 pm

Harrogate Hospital this week announced the number of patients in beds with the virus had more than doubled from 19 on 5 January to 49 a week later - a figure higher than during the first wave in April 2020.

Covid: Some non-urgent operations stopped at Harrogate Hospital after virus admissions double in a weekA Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said the sharp rise was putting “a significant strain on services” and that the hospital had to postpone some non-urgent surgery to free up staff.

It comes as the infection rate in Harrogate has dropped slightly from 497 cases per 100,000 people on 7 January to 411 cases per 100,000 people on 10 January.

Harrogate residents are being urged to stay at home as health chiefs describe the Covid infection rate across the region as 'scarily high'.

The latest figure is still higher than the second peak in November and health leaders have said it is too early to say with certainty that the lockdown is having a significant impact.

Richard Webb, director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council, told a briefing of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum on Tuesday: “We have had a slight reduction in the last 24 hours, however, I think it is too early to say there is any definitive trend.

“These figures are still scarily high. They are amongst the highest in Yorkshire and the North of England. They are way higher – 10, 15, 20 times higher – than they were several months ago.

“That’s why we still need to be vigilant. That’s why we need to fight this virus. That’s why we need to stay at home.”

Mr Webb also urged patience with the lockdown. He added: “None of us want a lockdown. All of us are fed up by it but we do just need to support each other and keep to the rules.

“We need to stay local, and that means local, not travelling a distance.

“The date when this lockdown ends is in the gift of each and everyone of us.”

Dr Jacqueline Andrews, executive medical director at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, also urged people to follow the coronavirus restrictions and stay at home, but said people should still seek medical help and attend appointments.

“Despite this significant increase in inpatients with Covid-19, the trust and the wider NHS remains open to all who need us,” she said in a statement.

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