A HEALTH chief has welcomed the halving of York's Covid rate but warned that the number of cases is still too high and the NHS is still under huge pressure.

Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at City of York Council, was speaking after The Press revealed yesterday that the rolling rate of cases in the seven days to January 20 was 331.4 per 100,000, compared with 670.4 in the first week of January.

She said: "Whilst it’s positive to see the figures for York dropping, our numbers are still significantly higher than we would like, and our NHS services are still facing a huge amount of pressure. It is still very important that people remember to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

“We know that around 1 in 3 people who are covid-positive won’t show any symptoms, but will still be able to pass the virus to those around them.

"This is one of the reasons why testing plays such an important part in stopping the spread of the virus. Identifying people who have the virus without realising allows them to self-isolate and their contacts can be traced to stop the spread.

"I would encourage anyone that is eligible to take part in symptom-free testing on a regular basis, you can book a test at https://www.york.gov.uk/CoronavirusTesting.”