Rise in Covid infections rate

An outbreak of Covid-19 cases at HMP Wealstun caused alarm yesterday as numbers showed as a spiked for the Wetherby East and Thorp Arch area.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 3:52 pm
Wealstun Prison near Wetherby.

Wetherby Ward councillors were called to a briefing and assured residents that Public Health England and the local authority are working closely with the prison.

In a statement the councillors said: “Many residents are concerned to see that Covid numbers have risen sharply within the Ward.

“We have been briefed on this and the numbers concerned are entirely related to an outbreak within HMP Wealstun.

“If you take this out of the equation, then the numbers for the rest of the ward remain low.”

Government figures show that 84 cases had been reported for the ward in seven days.

They added: “Following our briefing, we understand that a number of staff and prisoners at HMP Wealstun have tested positive for Covid-19.

“The prison is working closely with Public Health England and the local authority to manage this and reduce transmission of the infection, including ensuring appropriate self-isolation and testing takes place.

“As seen in a number of other areas which have a prison where there are positive Covid cases linked, this can cause overall local rates of Covid cases to appear high, rather than this being an issue associated within the wider community itself.”

They added: “Public Health England continues to provide support to HMP Wealstun to control and lower the number of COVID cases.

“We have sought and been given assurances that this outbreak is confined, and that risk outside the prison is minimal.”

But they added: “However, it would seem a good moment to remind residents of the need to regularly wash your hands, wear a mask when necessary and appropriate, and to socially distance.

“Remembering the Hands, Face, Space instructions will mean that we can keep our case numbers low.”