Coronavirus York updates; 31st July 2020

Deaths and test results

One additional Coronavirus positive test result in York today, bringing the total to 924

More information is available at this web site https://coronavirus-staging.data.gov.uk/

Latest York Council COVID-19 commentary (See open data)

DIAGNOSED CASES (Pillar 1 and 2 combined)

• As at 30.7.20 York has had 923 cases, a rate of 439.7 per 100,000 of population. The England rate is 465.4. The Yorkshire & Humber rate is 581.6. York has had 6 new cases in the last week: the most recent cases had a test specimen date of 25.7.20

• The PHE ‘Exceedance’ rating compares the no. of new cases over a 14 day period with the previous 6 weeks and provides a RAG rating to indicate if the previously observed trend in the no. of new cases is worsening. The latest rating for York (28.7.20) is Amber. The amber rating was triggered by a higher than ‘expected’ number of cases per 100 tests in a day (3 cases with a specimen date of 25.7.20). We know that in recent weeks the number of cases have been low in York which has an effect on the thresholds used to determine the RAG rating – a small change can mean the difference between a red, amber and green rating. The exceedance report should not be considered in isolation but in context alongside other factors such as the recent total number of cases, COVID related deaths, outbreaks as well as changes in the local testing regime and local hotspot analysis.

• The weekly rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population tested under Pillar 1 and 2 (as at 21.7.20, using the National Covid-19 Surveillance Report released on 23.7.20) was 0.95 for York. York was ranked 8th out of 150 local authorities (with 1 being the lowest rate). The updated report is not yet available at the time of publication.

• As at 28.7.20, the latest 7 day positivity rate (Pillar 2 only) was 0.46% (6 positives out of 1,294 tests). The positivity rate in York is lower than national (1.2%) and regional (2.0%) averages.

DEATHS

The two sources about deaths from Covid-19 at LA level are ONS data and local registrar data. They are derived from the same source (civil registration data). ONS data is more comprehensive as it will include deaths of York residents which have been registered outside York. Local registrar data is useful as it provides a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS weekly data: For deaths occurring up to 17th July 2020 and registered up to 25th July 2020, 168 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (82 in hospital, 73 in care homes, 9 at home, 3 in an hospice and 1 in an ‘other communal establishment’). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 79.77 which is lower than the national average of 86.68

• ‘Excess’ deaths (ONS). In week 29 (11 July to 17 July), 26 deaths occurred in York, which is 11 fewer than the average weekly number for 2014-18. The peak week for ‘excess’ deaths and for Covid deaths was week18 (25 April to 1 May).

• Local Registrar data: In the weekly data received on 27.7.20 (for deaths occurring up to 22.7.20), a cumulative total of 159 deaths of CYC residents where COVID-19 was mentioned (confirmed or suspected) on the death certificate, have been registered. The average age of the people who died was 82.4, with an age range of 53-104. The age profile of those dying in York is slightly older than the national average. 84 of the 159 were male (52.8%), slightly less than the national average (55%). 80 of the deaths occurred in hospital and 79 were community deaths (e.g. at home or in a care home or hospice). 68 people (42.8%) died in nursing /care homes (the national average is 29.6%). In addition 13 people (8.2%) who normally resided in nursing/care homes in the CYC area, died in hospital.

Data on deaths occurring in hospital are shown below. Deaths are initially reported for York NHS Foundation Trust which includes Scarborough Hospital and the further breakdown by site can be delayed. From local registrar data, 58.6% of COVID-19 deaths occurring at York Hospital have been CYC residents.

• Deaths at York Hospital: As at 30.7.20, 134 deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were being cared for at York Hospital have been reported. 214 deaths have been reported by the wider York NHS Trust.

West Yorkshire restrictions

Looking at the 7 day positive test result trends its not surprising that the government has imposed additional social distancing restrictions in some west Yorkshire areas. Calderdale in particular has seen a recent spike in positive results.

The new lock-down rules, which came into force at midnight, mean people from different households will not be allowed to meet in homes or private gardens. They also ban members of two different households from mixing in pubs and restaurants, although individual households will still be able to visit such hospitality venues.

Positive test result trends in west Yorkshire

It is perhaps surprising that the restrictions did not include controls on travel. There were a huge number of vehicles heading for the coast today. This will make it virtually impossible to enforce social distancing rules.

The government has also announced that it will not, as planned, ease restrictions next week on some activities. Their statement reads

  • Further easing of restrictions which had been due to come in tomorrow in England are postponed until 15 August at the earliest – this includes the opening of casinos, bowling alleys, indoor theatres and concerts with social distancing
  • Changes to wedding celebrations to allow up to 30 guests are also postponed
  • Shielding will be paused nationally from 1 August as planned
  • Face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums. There will be a greater police presence to enforce this
  • The introduction of new restrictions in northern England is not a “return to lockdown” – but further local restrictions will be implemented as needed
  • No change to work-from-home guidance from tomorrow – meaning more people will still be encouraged to go in to their workplaces. The PM promised to “come down hard” on workplaces which people do not feel are safe
  • People who test positive for coronavirus will not be discharged into care homes
  • New slogan from the PM: “Hands, face, space, get a test”
  • Rise in infection rates in several parts of the world is not a “second wave”, says Professor Chris Whitty, but if people increase the number of people they meet, the virus rate will increase “inevitably”

Support for residents continues as shielding scheme is paused

As further changes to shielding advice come into force from 1 August, City of York Council is reminding residents that help is still available should people need it.

From 1 August the government will pause shielding. This means that:

  • the government will no longer be advising you to shield
  • the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you registered by 17 July)
  • However the Council is keen to reiterate that the coronavirus helpline remains open and the Council, working with communities and the city’s amazing volunteers, stands ready to continue to support people.

From 1 August, those shielding will be advised they can go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:

  • you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible and wear a face covering where in public places you can’t socially distance. Face coverings are mandatory in shops and on public transport, although there are some exemptions for those with certain medical conditions such as those with breathing difficulties. More information is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Anyone who needs help to ask for it by contacting our Coronavirus helpline on 01904 551550 or emailing COVID19help@york.gov.uk.

Self isolation period in now 10 days

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus symptoms or have had a positive test result.

The country’s chief medical officers have published an update with more information which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-on-extension-of-self-isolation-period-30-july-2020

The latest government advice is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Key Worker Celebrations

York’s key workers have been selfless, tireless and have carried us all through the coronavirus pandemic.

To show our thanks, we’re holding a week-long celebration of the city’s key workers starting this Saturday (1 August). Look out for discounts and art exhibitions across the city!

Read the letter to key workers from City of York Council and Visit York here: https://visityork.org/dbimgs/letterkeyworkers.pdf
Find out more at https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/key-workers-celebration

York Learning Summer Festival

Whether its seated Pilates, learning Spanish, a mask making workshop or a creative photography course – learn something new from the convenience of your own living room this summer.

York Learning have launched their first ever summer festival, taking place online with a whole host of different courses, activities and skills for all ages and abilities.

To find out what’s on and learn something new visit: https://yorklearning.org.uk/

Take-away drinks and dining al fresco: Licensing changes for York’s hospitality sector.

Let's be York; safe, welcoming, considerate

City of York Council is encouraging hospitality businesses across the city to make the most of recent national government licensing changes.

These changes are making it easier to use outdoor space for customers and serve take-away drinks.

The council is working with partners like Make it York and York BID to help businesses across the city to secure the space they need to open safely and allow residents to make the most of summer.

As well as extending footstreets and providing outdoor spaces like College Green, the council is reminding every business that they can support them to quickly take advantage of the new laws.

Our Let’s Be York campaign is also reminding businesses and customers to dispose of their litter responsibly and to work with the council, York BID, volunteer hosts and local businesses who are all going the extra mile to keep the city safe, clean and welcoming during these very different circumstances.

Pavement Café licenses

To put tables and chairs outside your premises you need a licence.

As businesses reopen and require additional space to meet social distancing requirements, changes to pavement café licensing (under the Business and Planning Act 2020 and the associated Pavement licences: guidance) will streamline the licensing process.

Businesses can apply for a licence, valid for between 3 months and 12 months (not beyond the end of 30 September 2021), under the Business and Planning Act 2020.

There are plenty of opportunities in York to make the most of this – from outside your property, to shared spaces or even space outside of vacant properties. Businesses can get in touch with City of York Council to find out what options are available to them.

More information about Pavement Café Licences can be found here www.york.gov.uk/PavementCafeLicences alternatively please email cafelicence@york.gov.uk 

Similarly, if retailers are interested in making better use of the footway outside their premises, they can find out more and seek permission by emailing highway.regulation@york.gov.uk

Licensed premises take-away option

New government legislation now means that premises licensed to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on their premises (for example, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes) can now also sell alcohol for consumption off the premises without restrictions. This means many of the restrictions on your license – such as selling in a sealed container – no longer apply.

Off sales can only be sold or supplied until 11pm. This provision will end on 30 September 2021. The council can also provide guidance on containers and toilet provision.

This provision does not apply to premises that are authorised to sell or supply alcohol by means of a ‘club premises certificate’, for example private members clubs.

Find out more about recent changes here.

These actions are designed to support the council’s Economic Recovery – Transport and Place Strategy, to build resident, visitor and stakeholder confidence that York is a safe, healthy and attractive place for everyone.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said;

“As our economy adapts to build back better, recent changes in licensing offer York’s hospitality businesses a great opportunity to expand their capacity to welcome more customers to enjoy the vibrant food and drink scene across the city.

“Colleagues across the council are working extremely hard to streamline these processes to help our city’s businesses reopen, recover and adapt. These changes make it easier for businesses to do just that, leaving them more time to do what they do best and offering customers more ways to enjoy the full range of local and independent shops which make York unique.

“We hope that visitors to the city centre will recognise the steps that businesses and attractions have taken, and to accept that there will be changes, but that these have been done with their safety in mind.”

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