THE number of covid patients being treated in York Hospital Trust has reached its highest level.
York and Scarborough Hospitals currently have 135 patients with coronavirus – higher than the peak of 131 in March 2020 – and hospital bosses expect that number to rise during the next two weeks.
There are currently 150 beds for covid patients but hospital chief executive Simon Morritt says more space is being created.
He said in previous waves Scarborough Hospital felt the impact more than York – but this time York is under more pressure.
“We are seeing quite a rapid rise in the number of covid admissions,” he said, adding that just days ago there were 70 coronavirus patients. That number has now almost doubled.
“We can expect to see a tough few weeks. In seven to 10 days we would expect to see the effect of lockdown kick in.”
He added that clinicians have told him that covid patients now tend to be younger and sicker.
The rate of covid cases doubled in the week between Christmas and New Year, a meeting of York’s Health and Wellbeing Board heard.
And the latest provisional data puts the city’s rate at almost 560 cases per 100,000 people – well above the regional average.
Sharon Stoltz, director of public health, said there has been a worrying rise in the number of cases among people over the age of 60.
But all age groups, including children, saw a rise in infections.
The local contact tracing service is busy and currently recruiting more staff to help manage the rising workload.
The meeting heard plans to vaccinate a lot of people quickly are in place and the only delay has been in getting supplies of the vaccine.
Ms Stoltz said: “The pandemic is going to get worse over the next few weeks before it gets better.
“But we have the hope of the vaccine on the horizon and longer [spring] days and all of that to look forward to.”