YORK has the lowest seven day rate of new coronavirus cases in the Yorkshire and Humber region, according to the latest data.

City of York Council is once again thanking residents and businesses and encouraging people to keep going as their "incredible efforts" continue to make a difference.

The latest seven day rate in York is 171.4 compared to a national average of 273.4 and a regional average of 428.7.

The local contact tracing service is continuing to work effectively, the council said, with local teams having contacted several hundred residents, who were unable to be reached by the national service, to offer guidance and help. Between October 22 and November 13, 262 ‘actionable’ positive cases were referred to the local contact tracing service. 261 of the referrals (99.6 per cent) have been actioned and one referral (0.4 per cent) is still ‘in progress’. Of the referrals actioned, 195 (74.7 per cent) were successful and 66 (25.3 per cent) were uncontactable.

Following a meeting of York’s Outbreak Management Advisory Board, City of York Council and partners have agreed to submit an expression of interest to undertake mass testing across the city, in order to aid in the local efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Councillors, public health experts and partners have also agreed to extend targeted testing to York care home visitors, in time for Christmas, children’s and adult social care workers, the voluntary sector and school children and teachers in bubbles that had reported a positive case.

The council said increased testing alone doesn’t change the essential things we can all do to stop the spread of the virus, which are; washing our hands regularly with soap and water, wearing a face covering in busy public spaces and social distancing by keeping 2m away from those you don’t live with. It said self-isolating when told to by test and trace or when you have symptoms, only leaving home to get a test, is vital too.

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, commented: “The incredible efforts of local residents, businesses and communities have helped slow the spread of the virus and we are very grateful to everyone for continuing to play their part. However, we cannot be complacent and must keep up our efforts to keep our city and each other safe.

“Whilst local public health teams continue to work hard to increase testing and provide as much support as possible, we must continue to follow the guidance and protect our family, friends and neighbours.

“For anyone needing support during this difficult time, help is available. So please do contact our coronavirus support line on 01904 551550, or by emailing COVID19help@york.gov.uk, and we will do what we can to help."

Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at City of York Council, added: “Our local contact tracing service continues to support those who have tested positive for coronavirus and identify any contacts to help slow the spread. I’d like to thank all residents who are engaging with the service, it really does make a difference and our fantastic team are there to help you and those around you.

“We really appreciate the huge efforts the city is making to stop the spread and we must continue all we can to drive down the number of coronavirus cases.

“We know this continues to be a difficult time for many, it’s important to look after both your physical and mental health. Whether that’s by getting some fresh air or exercising, it’s more important now than ever to look after yourself. Every Mind Matters has lots of helpful and practical tips on how to take care of yourself in these challenging times.”