The latest Covid-19 infection rate for York reveals why our city is NOT on course for a local lockdown

Parliament Street is getting busy again. Photograph: YorkMix
1 Jul 2020 @ 5.41 pm
| Health

While other cities in Yorkshire are at risk of a local lockdown, York is currently safe from that prospect.

Public Health England released new figures today, showing the number of new cases per 100,000 population in the week ending 21 June.

Leicester had 140.2 – a massive spike which has seen the city put into a local lockdown.

The next ten towns and cities are:

  • Bradford – 69.4
  • Barnsley – 54.7
  • Rochdale – 53.6
  • Bedford – 42.0
  • Oldham – 38.6
  • Rotherham – 33.6
  • Tameside – 33.3
  • Blackburn with Darwen – 32.9
  • Kirklees – 30.3
  • Peterborough – 27.9.

By contrast, in York the rate of infection for that week is just 6.7.

That puts it 60th in a league table of 150 English local authorities.

North Yorkshire, with a rate of 13.8, is at 31st in the table. The East Riding of Yorkshire is one place above at 30th, with a rate of 14.1.

Closely review the data

A social distancing sign in Shambles Market. Photograph: YorkMix

This data is based both on tests that have been carried out in PHE and NHS laboratories (“pillar 1” of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (“pillar 2”) such as at drive-throughs or kits sent to people’s homes.

A Public Health England spokesperson said: “We will continue to closely review the data for York and advise any measures that become necessary, but the measures currently in place are sufficient at this time.

“We urge everyone to follow the social distancing advice closely and seek a test if they have symptoms.”

Director of public health at City of York Council Sharon Stoltz told YorkMix yesterday: “I can reassure residents and businesses in York that the city currently has relatively low numbers of cases of Covid-19 and a local lockdown is certainly not necessary.”

High infection rates aren’t very far away. Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said the city had a high number of infections “although we are some way behind Leicester”.

She added: “The number of people testing positive for the virus is still too high and we continue to work hard with all our partners to prevent infection spreading as no one wants a second lockdown.

“As we take more and more steps towards returning to a more normal life, it’s easy to believe that Covid-19 is less of a threat to our health and the health of our family and friends.

“This is simply not the case.”

Additional reporting: Chloe Laversuch, Local Democracy Reporter