More than eight out of ten new cases of coronavirus in York are caused by the Delta variant, new figures show.
Public Health England data reveals there were 171 Covid-19 Delta cases in York in the week up to 16 June.
That’s up from 51 the week before.
According to City of York Council, recent provisional data “shows that in the most recent month, 82% of new cases in York were likely to be the Delta variant”.
The more infectious variant, which originated in India, also accounted for most of the new cases across North Yorkshire.
Number of Covid-19 Delta variant cases by council area
|Council area||Week to 09/06||Week to 16/06||% change|
Selby had 100 cases in the week to 16 June, up from 55 the week before.
Across England there has been a 79% rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant.
The increase across the UK is being driven by younger age groups, many of whom have now been invited for a vaccination as the jab rollout extends to anyone aged 18 and over.
Hospital cases have almost doubled although most of those needing treatment have not had a vaccine.
Race with the ‘third wave’
Professor Adam Finn, who advises the Government on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said a “third wave” of coronavirus infections “is definitely under way”.
The University of Bristol academic told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s going up, perhaps we can be a little bit optimistic it’s not going up any faster, but nevertheless it’s going up, so this third wave is definitely under way.
“We can conclude that the race is firmly on between the vaccine programme, particularly getting older people’s second doses done, and the Delta variant third wave.”
Prof Finn was asked if he feels confident that we are going to outpace the Delta variant with the current rate of vaccination, and he told Times Radio: “No, I don’t feel confident, but I think there’s some grounds for optimism.
“The latest ONS figures continue to show a rise, but that rise has not accelerated quite as much as I’d feared over the last week.
“So, the race is on. The sooner we can get, particularly second doses, into older people, the less of a hospitalisation wave we’ll see this time around.
“That’s the critical thing, that’s what’s grounded us all in the past, and if we’ve managed to protect enough older people that we can avoid a great big surge of hospitalisations and deaths, then things will be able to move back towards normal.”