Health

Pillar 2 data reveals York has had TWICE as many coronavirus cases as reported

Pillar 2 data reveals York has had TWICE as many coronavirus cases as reported

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Pillar 2 data reveals York has had TWICE as many coronavirus cases as reported

NEW testing data reveals York has had almost TWICE as many positive coronavirus cases as previously reported.

Public Health England only publishes test results from swab tests in labs, tests in NHS hospitals and health and care worker test results – known as Pillar 1 data.

But tests performed at Poppleton Bar Park&Ride – and other swab tests on the general population – also known as Pillar 2 test results, are NOT included in the published data.

City of York Council has now revealed that as of June 27 there were 424 positive coronavirus tests confirmed through the Pillar 2 testing programme.

It means the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in York is nearly DOUBLE the figure published by Public Health England.

A spokesperson for the council said on June 29 York had a total of 463 confirmed cases of Covid-19 through the Pillar 1 testing programme (NHS and Public Health England) and on June 27 had a total of 424 cases confirmed through the Pillar 2 testing programme (commercial providers) – giving a total of 887 cases.

They said numbers are still low in York – with nine positive test results recorded through Pillar 2 data in the past week.

Pillar 2 data is not currently published and the council has been asking for the data – but is understood to have only received the figures in the past week.

Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at the council, said that with Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 data York currently has an infection rate of 421.6 per 100,000 people.

She said: “To put this into context, the rate across England is 425.8 and closer to home, Yorkshire & Humber’s infection rate is 519.6. Furthermore, as we produce seven day rolling averages there is no evidence to suggest that cases are increasing in York.

“I can reassure residents and businesses in York that the city currently has relatively low numbers of cases of Covid-19 and a local lockdown is certainly not necessary.”

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said she has been pushing for government to provide the data, saying: “How can public health teams do their job when they don’t have the data?

“It certainly seems that the Government is not providing that data and that has been to the detriment of the city and the country.

“These figures really need to be out there because we need to understand that this deadly virus is still out in our communities.

“We want the economy to pick up as soon as possible but we have got to protect people’s health.”

The Press has asked the council for a breakdown of the Pillar 2 data with the number of positive test results recorded daily.

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