Health secretary Matt Hancock praises York for bringing coronavirus cases down

The Health Secretary has praised York residents – and the city’s public health team – for their efforts to reduce the coronavirus rate.

Matt Hancock said he was looking at the city’s coronavirus figures yesterday and agreed that they are “coming right down”.

The rate of Covid-19 cases in York has dropped dramatically since reaching a peak of 309.6 per 100,000 people on October 20.

Council figures show that by November 27 is had dropped to 82.6 per 100,000 – well below the regional and national averages.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Wednesday, York Central MP Rachael Maskell said: “Will the Secretary of State look with precision at the York model of delivering contact tracing? It has been a phenomenal story.

“Precision of contact tracing interviews has reduced the rate right down.

“They need the information on day one, not after 48 hours, which is being held back, but they also need to ensure that they get payment and support for people isolating. It works, so will the Secretary of State now follow that model?”

Mr Hancock replied: “We will not only follow the model; we will promote it.

“The link between the local authority and the national system in York has indeed had the effect that the honourable member rightly describes, and the teamwork between the two has meant that the figures in York – I was looking at them this morning – are coming right down.

“I pay tribute to everybody in York.

“It is an example of the national and local systems working together. We have to get the case rates right down all the way across North Yorkshire – indeed, everywhere in Yorkshire – and I am sure that we can.”