New case of coronavirus confirmed in York

Testing for Covid-19. Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA Wire
4 Mar 2020 @ 5.33 pm
| News

York has a new case of coronavirus, it was confirmed today (Wednesday)

Sharon Stoltz, York director of public health, sent a message to City of York Council councillors with the news.

She wrote:

  • I have agreed to notify you directly of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in York so you are aware before it hits the media.

    So this message is to inform you that I have been advised of one positive case of the virus in the City of York.

Ms Stoltz said: “This case came about as a result of travel to northern Italy and the individual followed all necessary health advice and has been in self-isolation at home so there is a very low risk of the virus having been transferred to anyone in York.”

Effective plans

Ms Stoltz was also briefing members of the health and wellbeing board about the virus this evening.

She didn’t mention the new case in York, instead saying: “The purpose of this agenda item is to give assurance to the people of York that we have effective plans, and to be able to respond to cases of the virus.”

And she explained why it was considered more of a concern than flu.

“Because it’s a new virus, there’s no level of immunity in the population. Which means that everyone has the potential to become infected and for the disease to spread extensively.”

The news comes as the UK has seen its biggest day-on-day increase in coronavirus cases, with 85 people now confirmed to have the virus.

Three of the 32 new cases in England were passed on in the UK, raising fears that community transmission may now be taking hold.

And England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, warned that a UK epidemic is looking “likely”.

York’s third case

Flashback to January: Two women wearing face masks leave the Staycity in Paragon Street, York. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

This is the third confirmed coronavirus case in York.

In January, a University of York student and their relative became ill while staying at the Staycity hotel on Paragon Street. They were the UK’s first cases.

Ms Stoltz told councillors this evening:

“The majority of people will have an unpleasant illness and the majority will recover.

“Just as for winter flu, there are some people who are more susceptible to becoming more sick.”

She added:

  • What the government has asked us to do is to plan for that level of impact – we are planning for the worst and hoping obviously that it won’t be as bad as that.

    We are trying to prevent the spread of the disease as long as we possibly can by asking people to isolate themselves if they have travelled to the affected areas.

    There’s a lot of work that’s going on to keep the city safe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs today that people who self-isolate are “helping to protect all of us by slowing the spread of the virus”.