The premises under investigation in Selby has not been named, but North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has said it is working with Public Health England (PHE) at the site.
Case rate 60% higher
Local public health officials have said the outbreak will mean that Covid case rates in the local authority will appear higher and show a “short term increase” before they begin to fall again.
Current figures show that rates in the Selby district are far higher than in other local authority areas, with 101 new cases recorded in the seven days up to 22 April.
This is the equivalent of 111.5 cases per 100,000 people, and is up from just 48.6 in the seven days previous up to 15 April, marking the largest increase in the country.
Selby’s figure is more than 60 per cent higher than the next district on the table, which is Kirklees, in West Yorkshire.
In a statement, NYCC said: “Due to a significant rise in the Covid-19 infection rate in Selby in recent days, North Yorkshire County Council is currently working with Public Health England to investigate an outbreak of Covid-19 at a local workplace in the Selby district.
“The company is working closely with all of the agencies involved, including the county and district councils, PHE and the Health and Safety Executive, to tackle the outbreak.”
NYCC said that on-site testing support has been provided to staff to help identify additional cases, but no details of the number of people involved have been released.
The council said the focus is currently on a “workplace setting”, but the authorities are also tracking any other cases in the community to reduce potential spread.
Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, said: “The company is working very closely with us as we take every measure, including workforce testing on site, to contain this outbreak.
“As a consequence we know that local infection rates will appear higher and show a short term increase before they start to drop again.
“However, this outbreak only serves to highlight that Covid-19 is still circulating among the population and shows how easily the rate can spike.
“Our plea to everyone is to be extremely careful and to keep following the regulations until it is safe to resume a more normal way of living – we have come too far and made too many sacrifices for this effort to be wasted now.”
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