Selby could have North Yorkshire's highest covid positivity rate because of number of commuters to bigger cities including Leeds and York, says health chief

Selby could have the highest coronavirus rates in North Yorkshire because of the number of commuters living in the district, a health chief has said today.

The area, which encompasses the towns of Selby (pictured) and Tadcaster as well as surrounding villages, has consistently had the highest case rate in the county over the past few weeks.

The area, which encompasses the towns of Selby and Tadcaster as well as surrounding villages, has consistently had the highest case rate in the county over the past few weeks.

With their close proximities to the A1, A64 and M62, the towns have strong commuting links to York, Leeds and Manchester.

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In 2015, data showed that 14.2 per cent of the resident workforce in Selby worked in Leeds, and 11.7 per cent worked in York.

The district’s positivity rate is 46.3 cases per 100,000 people as of Wednesday, with the next highest district being Craven at 28 cases.

Harrogate follows at 24.2, Scarborough at 21.1, Richmond at 20.5, and Ryedale at 19.9.

Hambleton has by far the lowest positivity rates in North Yorkshire at 5.5 cases per 100,000.

Speaking at an update this morning, Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for health and adult services, said Selby’s economic make-up may have an impact.

He said: “There's some argument about what's the economic makeup of a particular place, and if some parts of Yorkshire have particular types of economy which means more people are in the workplace.

“Particularly somewhere like the Selby area, we have a lot of people coming in and going out from Selby district to work on a daily basis, and that may explain some of the fluctuations that we've seen.”

It comes as it was announced coronavirus hospitalisations in North Yorkshire are at their lowest levels since last summer.

Just 25 people are in hospitals being treated for covid across the county, compared with some 378 at the January peak of the second wave.

And police in the region confirmed that the lifting of restrictions on April 12 to allow groups of six to meet outdoors had not sparked any major incidents.

Some seven fixed penalty notices were issued for indoor gatherings, four in Ripon and three in Scarborough.