Coronavirus York updates; 31st March 2021

Deaths

The ONS have updated their weekly monitor of the number of deaths among York residents from COVID-19.

During the week ending 19th March 2021 two residents lost their lives. Both were hospital patients.

There were no deaths in care homes.

No further deaths have been announced by the York Hospital Trust today.

It is now two weeks since the last hospital fatality in York

Test results

Five additional positive test results have been announced today. That brings the total up to 12,198

Citywide case numbers have fallen from 67 to 63 today. There may be a small rise tomorrow before numbers are expected to fall to a 2021 low on Saturday

The infection rate per 100k population figure has fallen to 29.91 today. There now appears to be a real possibility – for the first time in 2 weeks – that a downward trend in infection rates will resume over the Easter period.

For the first time in over a week, infection rates have fallen today at City, county, regional and national levels.

Neighbourhoods

16 York neighbourhoods now each have fewer than 3 cases

There has been a modest increase in infection numbers in the Holgate and Westfield neighbourhoods

Vaccinations

As at 28 March, 91,467 people in York had received their first dose of the vaccine, an estimated 52.6% of the adult population.

9,222 people have received both doses of the vaccine, accounting for an estimated 5.3% of the adult population.

For the first time yesterday at a national level, more people received their second dose than received their first dose of vaccine.

Tests

4,399 people in York had PCR tests during the week ending 26th March 2021

Of these, 1.6% were positive. That is an improvement on yesterdays figure of 1.8%

858 “lateral flow” tests were also carried out on 30th March 2021

Hospitals

There has been a further drop in the number of patients being treated for COVID-19 by the York Hospital Trust

What to do over Easter

This is what the Council is recommending for the Easter holidays. The weather is expected to become cooler and most lockdown RESTRICTIONS ARE STILL IN PLACE

Find more ideas for things to do at home/virtually on the Shine website – https://www.yor-ok.org.uk/young-people/shine-new.htm

Council updates businesses on the restart grant payments

Restart Grants will start being paid to York businesses from w/c 12th April after the government confirmed it would transfer money to local authorities after the Easter weekend.

The council continues to prioritise paying government grants into the bank accounts of qualifying businesses as quickly as possible.

April sees the next phase of grant payments with restart grants being paid to non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses that are liable for business rates. Businesses that have already qualified for payments from other grant programmes do not need to reapply, and will automatically be paid if they are eligible.

New businesses that started trading between 5 January and 1 April may qualify for restart grants. They can apply through the claim form on the council website, which will be available from Monday 12 April.

Eligible business who have not yet applied for Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) funding must do so before 31 March 2021. See details of available business grants and check if you’re eligible online. After this date businesses will not be able to apply for the ARG grant, but those who have already qualified will continue to receive payments from April onwards in line with roadmap periods.

All qualifying businesses liable for business rates will continue to benefit from business rates relief as previously announced in the March Budget.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance said:

Throughout the pandemic we have prioritised keeping businesses as up to date on the process as we can and in getting payments to them as quickly as possible.

“We are now over a year on since the first lockdown and it has been an incredibly challenging year for us all. We continue to be incredibly grateful to the business community for their understanding and support and to our council staff who are working tirelessly to get each payment into the bank accounts of businesses as soon as possible. We expect these payments to be made from 12 April but as ever will keep businesses updated.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning said:

Many businesses are seeking to re-open as safely as possible, and the council is committed to supporting local businesses through this process.

“The finance team is working hard to ensure that as soon as Government funding is received, payments are made to business’ accounts. We know that the quick payment of these grants is essential for eligible businesses. This is why I have recently written to the Secretary of State to urge for the current system to be streamlined to ensure businesses receive payments as quickly as possible.”

“We continue to update our website with the latest information and eligibility criteria for certain support online.

“Any businesses who have fallen through the cracks of government support please get in touch with us as soon as possible on email: economicgrowth@york.gov.uk.”

Shielding lifts after 1 April as infection rates fall

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in York are being reassured that help is still to hand as, from Thursday 1 April shielding will stop, as virus infection rates continue to fall.

Affected residents will be getting updated guidance from the Government asking them to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of infection from Covid-19. These set out practical steps to reduce the risk of catching the virus, including continuing to maintain strict social distancing and to keep overall social contacts at low levels, such as working from home where possible.

The move follows the first dose vaccination of more than 9 in 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people as well as a steady decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations for the last few weeks. People aged 16 or older who have been advised they are clinically extremely vulnerable and who haven’t had their first vaccination should book it via the NHS website. Please take up the second dose of the vaccine when it is offered to further increase your level of protection.

York’s community hubs and the network of food deliverers will continue to offer support. Anyone already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots will to be able to access them until 21 June 2021.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

Shielding helps safeguard those who are the most clinically vulnerable in our communities. We recognise how difficult this period has been for so many and the impact it has had on people’s wellbeing.

“Being able to lift shielding is testament to the efforts of everyone in the city in stopping the spread of the virus. It means people can start thinking about easing up on the more rigid guidelines and begin going out more. To keep York open and the people we love safe, please continue to observe hands, face, space.

“We are still here to help. Our community hubs can support anyone who needs it, whether to talk to someone or to collect essentials. Please call 01904 551550 or email covid19help@york.gov.uk if you need support.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health at City of York Council, said:

Thank you to everyone who has shielded or has helped someone who is shielding: we know how challenging and worrying this period has been for individuals and families.

“Whilst this is another positive step in the road to normal we all still need to be careful. If you have been shielding, please continue to take extra precautions after 1 April to keep yourself as safe as possible.

“No vaccine is 100% effective. Even if you have had both doses, there is still no absolute guarantee that you will not become ill from Covid-19, so please remember hands, face, space.”

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