Director of Public Health in York confirms small number of cases of the Indian strain of covid in the city


A small number of cases of the Indian strain of coronavirus have been found in York. 

The city's Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz has released a statement saying due to low levels, no further action is required.

"“Working with our partners in Public Health England, positive tests in the city are routinely examined for variants and we continue to monitor the situation both here and across the region. Where any cases are identified, enhanced contact tracing is put in place and carried out."

Sharon Stoltz is reassuring the public that the there is capacity for surge testing, if the number of cases rises.

It has not yet been confirmed how many people have tested positive for the Indian strain of the virus, or where in York they are.

It's thought the localised outbreak could be down to foreign travel.

In light of the recent localised outbreaks of the Indian variant across the country, Public Health England are reiterating their safety message of 'Hands, face, space and fresh air', which they say is crucial to limiting further spread of the virus and any new strains.

Sharon Stoltz continued: "Getting tested is important too, that means getting a PCR test if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, or by getting regular symptom-free testing at home or at one of our testing sites. Preventing  the spread of COVID-19 is vital to keeping the city open and the people we love safe."

The York Director of Public Health wanted to reassure people living in York that there is currently no significant evidence to suggest that the Indian variant of coronavirus causes more severe disease, or makes the vaccine any less effective.

"Work is underway nationally to better understand this and other variants of concern. We will continue to update our advice as more information becomes available.”

It's not just in York where the Indian strain has been detected. Earlier this week a Tynemouth Bar was linked to a small localised outbreak of the Indian variant on Tyneside.

Cases of the Indian Covid variant "rising in the community" across the UK, has prompted ministers to look at ordering further action in response to the spread.

New figures show cases have more than doubled in a week.

Public Health England (PHE) say it was assessing the impact and severity of the variant.

One response being considered is bringing forward the date for a second dose of vaccine for eligible groups to increase protection.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not ruled out local lockdowns being necessary to contain the spread of the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the situation was being monitored carefully and the government "will not hesitate to take further action if necessary".