Corona Virus update – 28th March 2020

Aldi queue priorities for NHS & emergency services

Supermarket Aldi has said that nurses, police officers and firefighters will take priority in its queues.

In a statement, it said: “All day, every day, key workers in the NHS, police and fire service will take priority ahead of queues into our stores upon showing a valid ID.

“This is in addition to early access on a Sunday, where they can enter stores 30 minutes prior to opening.

Thank you from everyone at Aldi.”

York Council guidance updated

The latest council guidance can be found on this link.

Regrettably it still does not address the issue of “routine” food shopping, stock positions, “least busy time” advice  and the lack of delivery & contactless payment options (other than plans to use volunteers to help the needy – see below)

A national briefing on the position at supermarkets can be found here https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/coronavirus-latest-retailer-announcements/

Financial support for residents

The York Council  have announced a details of emergency funds totalling £1.25m for residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will be able to receive financial help from two funds, depending on their circumstances and how much help they need. The two funds are the:

  • Emergency hardship fund for residents affected by Covid-19
  • Council tax COVID-19 hardship fund

More information at at www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

York Council community response and hubs

“We have invited people in need to contact us via the council’s standard number as well as via covid19help@york.gov.uk  Calls are being dealt with by the Customer Centre (now operating 7 days a week).  Any requests for help that fall outside of normal service requests are being forwarded to a unit that we have established to respond to individual need.   We are dealing with a wide range of requests for help.  We are responding according to the nature of the need, for example:

  • Referring to a voluntary organisation providing a relevant service
  • Sending a volunteer to do shopping for the individual
  • Arranging a delivery of food via the foodbank
  • Arranging delivery of food that we have procured
  • Arranging follow-up welfare calls using volunteers
  • Linking the individual into the local Facebook groups

To support this effort we are in daily contact with all the relevant voluntary organisations to understand their needs as well as what they have to offer.  We are working particularly closely with the foodbank to focus on food issues to understand demand and adapt our approach accordingly.

Our response will now be bolstered through the establishment of community hubs.  The hubs are part of the city’s co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 emergency. They are not open to the public and are at strategic locations around the city. In the first instance these respond to the government’s requirement to deliver food to the “medically shielded” (we will be provided with a list of who these people are) prior to a national door to door delivery system kicking in.  We expect our first delivery of food imminently to our central warehouse.  Our hubs will also provide a safety net for this system should any individual be missed. 10 hubs are now ready to pack food into boxes as soon as it is delivered.  A further 14 can be opened if required”.

Homeless support

We are aware of the government’s announcement about how council’s should be supporting homeless people. People sleeping rough in the city are among the most vulnerable in the city and it is important for their immediate and long-term health to get them into accommodation.  We have accommodation for those who are still outside. From there, we can provide them regularly with food and support for their other needs.The Government has asked us to triage people to different location according to any underlying health issues and we’re working on this. More information on our support we are offering was outlined in our  press release from earlier this week.

Business support

The business briefing includes how we’ve worked with Make it York, York BID and the LEPs to make the case for small employer support, and are raising some teething issues with over government-backed loans with the British Business Bank. Now we are asking businesses to tell us what other support their business needs by completing this short survey from Make it York – whether they are a member or not.

 Mental wellbeing

Public Health England has tailored Every Mind Matters to provide advice and tips on how to manage anxiety during social distancing and isolation. People can find guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain mental wellbeing while at home or are worried and anxious about the outbreak is the NHS site.

Service changes

Register office

 As of Monday 30 March, York Register Office is closed to the public following the Coivd-19 pandemic. Following Government guidance we are now asking people to register a death by telephone.  If you have been given a medical certificate of cause of death from a doctor, you will need to deliver this to the Register Office (post through the letter box) or post the certificate to us.

Before delivering or posting please ensure you add the following details, clearly, on the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) envelope:

  • name of the person who will register the death
  • a contact number and email address for the person who will be registering the death
  • the name of the funeral director (if known)

Once we have received the MCCD we will call you to arrange the registration. If you have not received a MCCD from the doctor, please call 01904 654477 or email registrar@york.gov.uk. We apologise for any inconveninence.

 Changes to public transport

Following the Covid-19 pandemic City of York Council have worked with York’s bus and train operators to ensure key workers and people making essential journeys are still able to get in and around the city.

After the Government announced guidelines stopping all but essential travel the number of people using bus and train services in the city has dropped substantially. In light of this we have worked with operators to remove non-essential services. We are also reminding those who are travelling need to consider social distancing whilst they move around.

 Bus services:

Bus operators and the council have looked at bus usage over the past week after restrictions were put in place to assess what trips are required for key workers, essential journeys, and also to gauge demand levels so services can operate within social distancing guidelines. Most services are continuing to run, but on a less frequent timetable. Some services will stop where there are other options for travellers. Specific changes are:

  • Park and ride services from Askham Bar, Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar will cease from Sunday.  FirstYork will take park and ride tickets on adjacent services on their town network (for example, service 12 for Askham Bar, service 10 from Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar).  The park and ride services from the Designer Outlet, Rawcliffe Bar and Monks Cross will continue to run, although at a half hourly frequency.  The car parks at Grimston Bar and Poppleton Bar will be closed, although the car park at Askham Bar will remain open.   The Hospital Shuttle Bus from Rawcliffe Bar will continue to run.
  • “Local” services in York will run at a reduced frequency.  Most of First’s network will operate at a half hour frequency, with half-hourly services becoming approximately hourly.  Service 13 (Connexions) will run hourly.  Service 20 every 2 hours, with frequency reductions also on services 24/25/26.  Service 19 will cease to operate, although its stops in Rawcliffe and Clifton will be served by the Hospital Shuttle Bus.
  • CitySightseeing services will not operate.

Longer distance services are also effected.

  • Coastliner services are combined with Cityzap and will operate every hour.  Service 415 to Selby will operate every hour, services from East Yorkshire have also been reduced.  Services 22, 30, 40 and 412 will operate but at reduced frequencies.

Bus users are asked to check operator websites before they travel for the most up to date information.  These can be accessed via itravel York website www.itravelyork.info Whilst these temporary changes are in place bus timetable apps and screens will not be displaying the correct information.

 Rail services:

Train companies are now offering a reduced service – ensuring key workers are still able to travel as required.  Timetables changes will be introduced from Sunday and full details are available via the National Rail Journey Planner and train operating company websites

 Car parking:

A reminder that free car parking for key workers and food workers:

Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above.

During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law. Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Healthy child service

In line with government advice, a few changes have been made to our healthy child service offer.

New parents will still be offered a face to face visit from a Health Visitor when they have been discharged by the midwife. Health visitors will call before they visit to ask about symptoms of coronavirus in the household. Health Visitors can support new parents with feeding, help to understand baby’s communication cues and answer questions relating to baby’s health, safety and development.

Health visitors and school nurses can still be contacted by phone and are on hand to provide advice and support. Please do not come to the centres, we will contact you by phone and visit only if it is essential and safe to do so.

The team can support over the phone with behaviour, toileting, sleep, healthy eating, ideas for activities during isolation and lots more.

Young people can contact the school nurses confidentially by text or call on 07833 437363 Monday- Friday 08:30-17:00

Our health visitors and school nurses can be called (Monday to Friday 8.30am -5pm) on:

  • The Avenues children’s centre 01904 551760
  • Clifton Children’s centre 01904 552322
  • Hob Moor children’s centre 01904 555475

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