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Comment on Covid variants in York

Published Thursday, 13 May 2021

A statement from Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, on the identification of Covid-19 variants in York.

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health said:

Working with our partners in Public Health England, positive tests in the city are routinely examined for variants and we continue to monitor the situation both here and across the region. Where any cases are identified, enhanced contact tracing is put in place and carried out.

“In York, we have had very few cases of the variant identified as B.1.617.2, first found in India. Public Health England has investigated these cases and no further action has been required.

"In some areas of the country, having a variant of concern has led to surge testing. We have not been required to do this, but we have surge testing plans in place, should this become necessary.

“The public health advice remains the same. Remembering the basics of Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air help to protect us against all COVID-19 variants. Getting tested is important too, that means getting a PCR test if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, or by getting regular symptom-free testing at home or at one of our testing sites. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is vital to keeping the city open and the people we love safe.

“There is currently no significant evidence that the India variant B.1.617.2 causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines any less effective. Work is underway nationally to better understand this and other variants of concern. We will continue to update our advice as more information becomes available.”