A “small number” of cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 have been discovered in North Yorkshire, it has been confirmed.
The number of cases and their locations have not been revealed at this time but North Yorkshire’s director of Public Health says that each case is being followed up.
Louise Wallace revealed the findings at a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum today.
It follows the discovery of cases of the variant in York last week.
Mrs Wallace said: “There have been a small number of cases of the Indian variant identified across North Yorkshire and as the public would expect national Test and Trace and Public Health England have been working together to identify and follow up the cases and their contacts to minimise the risk of spread.
“We are well prepared to deal with any variants of concern found in our area.”
The overall coronavirus rate in North Yorkshire remains low at 17 cases per 100,000 people, below the national average.
Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s director for Health and Adult Services, said that it was to be expected that the county would encounter “turbulence” but said despite the cases of the Indian variant the picture remained positive.
He said: “We don’t have a situation like that is being seen across the Pennines fortunately, which is good news.
“However, what I have said before and I will say again is that Covid is still out there, the situation is a lot better than it has been for much of the last 15 months but we should all expect turbulence at various points.
“We should expect that there will be surges from new variants and we will expect to respond very quickly to those should those arise.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Boris Johnson said there is “increasing confidence” that the Covid-19 vaccines are effective against all variants.