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Coronavirus: Local lockdown plans in North Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Local lockdown plans in North Yorkshire

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 4:47pm 26th June 2020.

Entire North Yorkshire towns and some streets could be put back under lockdown as part of plans to control further coronavirus outbreaks, documents have revealed.

  • A Covid-19 outbreak control plan has been published by North Yorkshire County Council.
  • It shows the council could be called upon to close down entire towns or streets.
  • But there are uncertainties over the details of how the lockdown would be enforced.

North Yorkshire County Council has today published its Covid-19 outbreak control plan which outlines how local lockdowns could be used.

Documents show that the council could be called upon to close down towns or streets, with the Joint Biosecurity Centre – which advises the government on the Covid alert level – using data and analysis to pass down instructions.

However, there is still uncertainty over the details of how the lockdown would be enforced.

Currently, lockdown powers sit with ministers and local politicians have called on the government to give more clarity on how they expect localised measures to work.

Coronavirus

Public health officials have suggested people in areas with an outbreak might be contacted by councils via leaflets or even visited by health workers to spread awareness of the virus.

A few examples of outbreaks being dealt with locally have been seen recently at meat factories in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, and Anglesey in Wales.

The factories were closed, with all staff told to self-isolate and get tested.

The council’s outbreak control plan also reveals how Harrogate has the second-highest virus mortality rate in the county, despite being the least deprived district with a low rate of cases.

At the other end of the scale, Scarborough – the most deprived district – has the highest rate of cases in the county and is fourth out of seven districts in terms of mortality.

It also shows how people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other black ethnicity had between a 10 and 50 per cent higher risk of death from the virus than white British people.

“As more evidence emerges about how to prevent, and the impacts of Covid-19 we will need to adjust our approach accordingly”, the plan says.

Launching the plan today, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the director of public health for North Yorkshire, said:

“Our plan outlines how we will respond, with our partners, to work effectively and at speed to manage outbreaks to help prevent any wider spread.

“It ensures there are clear protocols in place to respond wherever they might happen and outlines how we will focus on preventing infection in the first place through good education and guidance.

“As part of the NHS national Test and Trace programme the outcome will be that we can support the county, its residents, businesses, work force and visitors to return to normal life safely.”