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Coronavirus: North Yorkshire peak still to come

Coronavirus: North Yorkshire peak still to come

Published by May Norman at 6:57am 8th April 2020. (Updated at 7:58am 8th April 2020)

"Peak in North Yorkshire likely to be in one or two weeks"

  • The Coronavirus Peak in North Yorkshire could be a number of weeks behind the peak in places like London.
  • Richard Flinton - Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council and Chairman of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum - has made the comments.
  • He's also released a statement with North Yorkshire Police on the importance of following the government's crucial advice.

The coming weeks will be the most crucial in the county’s fight against the coronavirus, a North Yorkshire police and council chief have said.

Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council Richard Flinton has warned North Yorkshire is several weeks behind London which is due to experience its peak within one to two weeks.

He says the virus will spread more slowly in rural counties than it has done in the big cities and that means the peak in infections is likely to be later.

Councillor Flinton has released a joint statement with Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker who together are reinforcing the government’s crucial advice that people should only leave the house for essential trips, as the spring weather looks set to warm up before the Easter bank holiday.

They said:

“The next few weeks could not be more decisive in the nation’s fight to slow the rate of infection of this very dangerous virus that we must make every effort to battle together.

“What we do now will have a bearing on whether more people die or whether lives are spared. If we act irresponsibly more people will die.

The choice could not be starker.”

At the weekend a traffic cop said he was “truly ashamed” after spotting a group of residents in Harrogate having a street party, despite the rising number of coronavirus deaths and warnings from health officials.

In a tweet, Andrew Ingram said the town was “by far the worse place” he has seen for people ignoring lockdown rules.

It was after and despite repeated warnings from police chiefs that new powers to issue fines or make arrests will be used against those who ignore social distancing rules.

Now in the coming weeks, roads police have warned motorists they will encounter checkpoints and face questions about their journey.

Mr Walker and Mr Flinton added:

“North Yorkshire Police has patrols in place and will be out and about in numbers over the coming days encouraging people to follow the lockdown restrictions, explaining why they are so important and enforcing the regulations where necessary. We will be turning people away who do not live here permanently, or have travelled too far to take exercise.

“Although we know that infection rates and the number of deaths are set to rise significantly in North Yorkshire as elsewhere in the country, the way we act now will have a major impact on how we slow or speed up the infection rate in the coming weeks.

“Every single one of us has a crucial part to play and right now, despite the improving weather, the most important thing we can do is stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

“Do not be tempted to jump in the car and head out to beauty spots in North Yorkshire’s countryside or on the coast. This is not essential travel.”