THE Covid case rate is now more than seven times higher in a country area near York than in the city centre.

The rate in the Ouseburn, Hammerton and Tockwith area has also soared by 33.8 per cent but it has fallen by 14.3 per cent in the heart of York.

The figures are revealed in Public Health England's latest map showing the levels of confirmed Covid infections in the week to October 18.

It shows the rural area to the west of York had 91 confirmed cases, a rate of 935.4 per 100,000 population. This means the area is shaded purple, because it is above the threshold of 800 cases.

Another rural area, Boston Spa and Bramham, had 64 cases, giving a rate of 893.9, while Carlton, Hemingbrough & Osgodby, near Selby, had a rate of 812.9 after 71 cases were confirmed.

But York city centre had only 18 cases, a rate of 129.2 per 100,000 population, meaning the area is shaded light blue as it is within the band of 100-199. Some other areas close to the centre were also shaded light blue because they had relatively low rates. Fulford Road and Clementhorpe had a rate of only 188.2 per 100,000 people after 25 cases were confirmed and Clifton North had a rate of 172.2 after 15 cases.

Even Fulford, Heslington & the University of York, which has had some of the city's highest rates at times during the pandemic, had a rate of only 204.5 after 20 cases.

The city's western suburbs generally had much higher rates than the centre, with 506.4 in Westfield, Chapelfields & Foxwood after 46 cases, 631.6 in Holgate West after 59 cases and 525.8 in Acomb after 55 cases.