Covid infections are soaring in one area of York, with a case rate above 2,000.
The news comes as York went past a coronavirus milestone – recording its 50,000th case.
Fulford, Heslington and the University is the area with the big rise in rates. It had 203 cases and a rate of 2,076.1 cases per 100,000 people on 26 January, when figures were last updated.
That number has doubled in five days. Much of the increase appears to be centred on the University of York.
On Friday (28 January) the university had 1,087 people self-isolating after a positive Covid test. Most of these are students.
That’s up from 294 the previous week.
The good news is, the number of people with Covid in York Hospital fell by six yesterday. There are now 157 coronavirus cases in the hospital, with five patients in the intensive care unit.
In a letter sent to staff, vice chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery said: “In response to this rise in cases, we will be continuing with some of the Covid contingency measures that we currently have in place, so that we can continue to prioritise our in-person activity across teaching and research.
“We have discussed and agreed this approach with the city council’s public health team.”
This includes extending the current face coverings policy until at least Friday 11 February, meaning that everyone is still required to wear face coverings in university buildings unless they are exempt.
He added that the uptick in cases “seems to follow the experience of York St John whose spring term began earlier than ours, and who saw a similar rise (and then a sharp fall) in their student cases”.
The area with the next highest rates is nearby South Bank & Dringhouses, with 148 cases and a rate of 1,864.4.
Last night, the government changed the metric for counting Covid cases, adding in “multiple infection episodes”.
That saw a jump in all the overall case numbers – and took the overall total of coronavirus infections in York since the pandemic began to 50,050.
In North Yorkshire another 6,826 cases were added, taking the cumulative total to 144,882.
Follow daily updates on Covid rates on our dedicated blog here.