Image Credit: Chezilla88: Cheryl Gill from Pixabay
The government announced yesterday that York will move into Tier 3 from 00:01 on 31 December. This move pushes York from Tier 2 into the ‘Very High Alert’ Tier, following the recent increase in cases in the city. The latest data shows a case rate in York of 240.2 per 100,000, with cases rapidly on the rise. The rapid rate of infection reflects the regional and national pattern, and is testament to the faster spread of the new strains in the UK.
Leaders in York are urging residents to join in a citywide effort to decrease the spread of the virus. Leader of the City of York Council, Kieth Aspden, has urged residents to ‘redouble [their] efforts to keep friends, families and neighbours safe’. He showed recognition of the difficulties of the past year and the ‘huge impact on businesses’, but reminded residents that their compliance is required to ‘reduce the number of cases in the city’. Aspden assured businesses and residents alike that ‘there will be support available’, with details released ‘imminently’.
Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health at City of York Council, was keen to emphasise the importance of adherence to restrictions and guidelines. She said: “Wearing a face covering when in public places, keeping a safe distance and washing our hands regularly remain vital, as is self-isolating when told to by test and trace. I would also urge those eligible to get regular symptom-free tests to help us identify cases quickly and stop the virus from spreading further.”
Like Aspden, Stoltz emphasised the challenges faced by many during the pandemic, but reminded residents that these ‘sacrifices’ have ‘made a difference and saved lives’. She provided a hint of optimism with mention of the Coronavirus vaccination, but ultimately underlined that stringent respect of government guidelines is essential in facing the coming months.