Coronavirus York updates; 16th April 2021

Deaths

There have been no additional hospital deaths announced today

Test results

Just two positive test results today, bringing the cumulative total up to 12,176

The number of cases in the City has increased by one to 24.

The infection rate /100k population figure is 10.92. It is expected to remain around that figure over the weekend before falling again early next week.

Neighbourhoods

Little change at neighbourhood or other levels today. We seem to be in a period of relative stability

Vaccinations

Little change in vaccination numbers by age group at neighbourhood level during the week ending 11th April. This was the period when alot of second doses were administered.

Over the last few days the vaccinators have moved on to immunise more of the under 50’s age group.

Tests

3856 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 11th April 2021

Of these, 0.5% were positive. This is the same proportion as the previous day.

2928 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 15th April.

Hospitals

Hospital patient numbers are continuing to decline

Council commentary

The York Council has updated its commentary on the pandemic.

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 16.04.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 12.4.21 there had been 47 total covid triages in the CYC area in the last 7 days. The peak number of triages was 653 in the 7 day period to 20.9.20.

• As at 14.4.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 38 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 4,137 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 15.4.21 York has had 12,174 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 5,780 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (6,802) and regional (7,056) averages. Cases identified through Lateral Flow Tests will be removed if they have a negative follow up PCR test within 72 hours so the cumulative total of cases can, on occasions, go down.

• 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 number of new cases is worsening. The latest rating for York (12.4.21) is Red. This is due to a higher than ‘expected’ number of cases on 2 occasions in the most recent 14 day monitoring period. 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 provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 7.4.21 to 13.4.21 in York is 12.8 (using data published on Gov.uk on 15.4.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 4.4.21 to 10.4.21 was 10.9. The national and regional averages at this date were 28 and 61.2 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 15.4.21).

• York is currently ranked 12th out of 149 Upper Tier Local Authorities (UTLAs) in England with a rank of 1 indicating the lowest 7 day rate.

• For the 7 day period 3.4.21.to 9.4.21, 1 ward (Fulford & Heslington) had seen a statistically significant fall in the rate compared with the 7 day period 27.3.21 to 2.4.21. 1 ward (Clifton) had seen a significant rise in the rate. The remaining wards have shown no significant change. The number of cases in each ward varies from 0 to 5 and rates vary from 0 to 49.8 per 100,000. 11 wards had zero cases in the latest 7 day period.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 4.4.21 to 10.4.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 2. The national and regional averages were 11.3 and 26.8 respectively.

• As at 13.4.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 0.79%. The national and regional averages are 1.3% and 3.1% respectively.

• As at 13.4.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.05%. The national and regional averages are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

• As at 13.4.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 0.4%. The national average is 0.7%.

• As at 15.4.21 York University reported 1 individual within the University community who was currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test. The peak number was 331 on the 19.10.20.

• As at 5.4.21 York St. John reported 0 individuals within the University community who were currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test. The peak number was 82 on the 8.10.20.

Contact Tracing

• Since 28.5.20 a total of 11,376 confirmed CYC Covid cases have been uploaded into the NHS Test and Trace system and 10,272 of the cases have been completed (90.3%). 26,541 ‘contacts’ of these cases have been identified and 20,152 of these have been completed (75.9%). Source: PHE Report.

• Local Contact Tracing. Between 10.3.21 and 9.4.21, 120 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 111 (92.5%) were successful and 9 (7.5%) were unable to be reached via phone or home visit, but guidance leaflets were posted where possible. (NB on the 10.3.21 the local CYC team became responsible for contacting all cases rather than just those that the national team could not contact).

Cases in Residential Care Settings

• As at 13.4.21 there were 0 care homes in the CYC area with confirmed Covid-19 infection (at least 1 case of either a staff member or resident).

• The latest ‘outbreak’ (2+ cases) in a residential care setting in York were reported by PHE on 25.2.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 12.4.21 there was 1 child of primary or secondary school age who tested positive across 1 school.

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 13.4.21 there were 9 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General and Acute beds. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 13.4.21 there were 0 confirmed Covid-19 patients and 0 suspected Covid-19 patients in the Intensive Treatment Unit. The peak number for people in ITU was 19 on 10.5.20.

• As at 13.4.21 there had been 0 patients admitted with suspected Covid-19 and 0 with confirmed Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

• As at 13.4.21 there had been 1 confirmed patient discharged with COVID-19 in last 24 hours.

• Between 5.4.21 and 11.4.21, 4 CYC residents were discharged from York hospital after needing NHS care for symptoms linked to covid-19 infection.

R Number

• The ‘R’ value (the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average) for the North East and Yorkshire area on 9.4.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.8 to 1.0. The previous estimate was (0.8 to 1.0) on 2.4.21.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 14.4.21 a total of 93,825 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine. This represents 44.5% of the estimated total population of York and 53.9% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.

• As at 14.4.21 a total of 25,365 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine. This represents 12.0% of the estimated total population of York and 14.6% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.

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 includes deaths of York residents which have occurred and been registered outside York. Local registrar data is useful as it enables a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS weekly data: In the most recent period (Week 13: 27.3.21 to 2.4.21) 2 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. In weeks 10, 11 and 12 there had been 3, 4 and 0 deaths respectively.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 2nd April 2021 and registered up to 10th April 2021, 390 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (227 in hospital, 134 in care homes, 21 at home and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 185.17 which is lower than the national average of 229.58

• Local Registrar data (Cumulative): Since the start of the pandemic (using data for deaths occurring up to 7.4.21), a cumulative total of 372 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 82.2, with an age range of 44-104. The age profile of those dying in York is older than the national average (79.6% of those who died in York were aged 75+ compared with 73.2% nationally). 178 of the 372 were male (47.8%), less than the national average (54.3%).

Council snubbed by government in York Central funding deal

Illustrative York Central Masterplan approved in 2019

The council’s “continued role” in unlocking a new generation of jobs, homes and cultural facilities in the York Central site will be considered by the Executive next Thursday, 22 April.

Funding to complete infrastructure works at the York central site (located behind the railway station) is being made direct to the landowners – led by Homes England – by the government.

It means that the Council’s role will be peripheral despite many millions having already been invested in the project. That may be good news for taxpayers who have seen projects like the Community Stadium and Guildhall refurbishment delayed and go over budget in recent years.

Now contract supervision and liability will rest mainly with Homes England.

Transparency isn’t a strong point for any of the “partners” involved in the York Central project (or the current York Council for that matter). We doubt if engagement will improve under the new governance arrangements.

The Council does remain the planning authority although that role could be undermined as they pursue “Enterprise Zone” status for the project. Planning rules are lax in such areas.

Council report April 2021

The Council is still set to spend nearly £50 million on the project and is dependent on the additional business rate income from Enterprise Zone new businesses to repay its borrowing.

The report being considered next week skates over the risks of this approach,. Those risks appear to have increased since the pandemic with office based developments likely to be less attractive for a while at least.

There are a number of significant planning issues still to be resolved.

These include the (bizarre) suggestion for making the Leeman Road tunnel one way, the absence of an attractive pedestrian/cycle access from the Wilton Rise area and continuing doubts about severing the existing Leeman Road footpath link near the Railway Museum

Last summer Labour Councillors even tried to ditch the project.

The Council has issued the following statement,

“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the council has worked with York Central partners Network Rail, Homes England and National Railway Museum to maintain momentum and progress on the 42 hectare York Central site.

After partners finalised the £155 million funding, secured planning permission and started work on the infrastructure to unlock the site, which will deliver up to 2,500 homes and space for up to 6,500 jobs.

Executive will be asked to approve changes to the way the project will be delivered and managed.

This includes the main grant holder, Homes England, taking on the delivery of the bridges, footways, cycleways, roads and other infrastructure to open up the site.

The council will also receive £3.86 million from the government grant to cover the costs incurred advancing the infrastructure project”.

Taxi fares set to increase by 4%

A meeting next week will consider a proposal to increase taxi fares in the City by 4%.

A new fares chart is proposed (see below)

If no objections are received the new fares will be implemented on 1st May 2021.

The meeting will also receive an update report on the controversial issue of private hire vehicles – including UBER – which are licensed in another local authority area and who are picking up fares in York. The committee is being advised that this is not unlawful.

Blue Badge holders asked for views on parking

City of York Council wants York’s Blue Badge Holders views on potential new parking in York city centre.

Front Street

Unfortunately the survey does not extend to suburban shopping areas like Acomb Front Street. One suggestion there is that the pedestrian area should be suspended on one day per week to allow access for Blue Badge holders.

The council says it is reviewing options to provide additional Disabled Parking locations at the edges of the pedestrianised ‘footstreets’ area. It is doing so before considering whether to make permanent the temporary changes to access arrangements introduced last year, potentially removing Blue Badge access exemptions on specific streets.

This would make the current temporary arrangements permanent, with no vehicles allowed to enter the footstreets area between 10:30am and 5pm (apart from emergency vehicles and a very limited number of service exemptions).

A separate consultation will take place over the decision. For now the council wants to understand how useful these potential additional Blue Badge parking locations next to the footstreets would be.

The new locations represent a mix of new parking bays, potential shared spaces and options to improve some double yellow line parking with dedicated bays.

The areas under consideration are: 

  • Junction of Blake Street and Duncombe Place – next to the Visit York building and Grays Solicitors,
  • Duncombe Place Horse and Carriage Bay – on the road leading to the Minster,
  • St Andrewgate – the road leading down the side of Barnitt’s onto King’s Square,
  • St Andrews Place, off St Andrewgate,
  • Deangate – between the Cross Keys and the Minster,
  • Stonebow – outside Calvert’s carpets,
  • St Denys Road – near St Denys’ Church,
  • Cumberland Street – by the York Opera House,
  • Lord Mayor’s Walk – alongside the wall near Monk Bar,
  • St Leonard’s Place – near the De Grey Rooms.

As part of the consultation, the council is also talking to other users of these spaces, including taxi associations, neighbouring businesses and residents.

Coronavirus York updates; 15th April 2021

Deaths

No additional hospital deaths have been announced today

Test results

5 additional positive test results today. Brings the cumulative total up to 12,174

Two additional cases, which increases the total for the City from 21 yesterday to 23 today.

The rate /100k population rises to 10.9. This is still well below the county (22.7), regional (61.2) and national (28.0) averages.

Infection rates are generally stable but the downward trend seen recently has not been sustained in recent days.

The infection rate in North Yorkshire has edged up in recent days

Neighbourhoods

Still only 2 neighbourhoods with an infection rate above the national average.

Vaccinations

53.9% of York residents have now received their first dose of vaccine.

13.7% have also received their second dose

Tests

3889 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 10th April 2021

Of these, 0.5% were positive. That compares to a positivity rate of 0.6% on the previous day.

3987 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 14th April.

Hospitals

Help shape York’s new community woodland

City of York Council says it is “seeking the views of residents and local organisations on its plans to create an extensive community woodland area near Knapton”.

The project got off to a poor start with behind closed doors decisions eventually committing the Council to purchase farming land valued at around £2 million for the forest.

No business case was ever presented which compared the financial and environmental benefits of a forest with the existing food production use or indeed more obvious uses in support of environmental challenges.

The survey includes questions on the 194-acres of land to the West of York, including “suggesting a name for the new area“, which sounds slightly patronising to us. The important decisions have already been taken but if you think that Knapton Wood should be called Sherwood Forest North then please let us know!

The council says, “As part of its commitment to creating a cleaner, greener city and its ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon by 2030, the council plans to plant 50,000 trees on the site by the spring of 2023. As well as acting as a ‘carbon sink’, the green space will boost the health and mental wellbeing of local people by giving them somewhere to exercise, spend time outdoors in nature and a place for quiet contemplation. It will be an important wildlife habitat, enhancing biodiversity in York, as well as creating new green jobs and volunteering opportunities, helping to boost the development of green skills”.

In recent months the council has completed a detailed land character assessment to explore the site’s existing flora and fauna, landscape, soil types, drainage features and access points.  This process has given the council a good understanding of the opportunities and constraints presented by the site, and helped to shape a series of different design concepts showing how the woodland could look.

Residents are now being asked to share their views on the design concepts so that their feedback can help shape the council’s plans for the site, as well as offer an insight into the role that residents and local groups can play in its creation and ongoing management. As a part of the consultation, residents are also invited to suggest possible names for the new woodland that reflect the heritage of the local area and tie in with the project’s ambitions.

Pay on Exit introduced in Marygate and Coppergate

From this week, Marygate and Coppergate Centre Car Parks (formally known as Piccadilly) now offer new ‘pay on exit’ car parking.

We think that this is a step forward but the top priority remains to improve digital signage and communications to prevent unnecessary trips by drivers seeking parking spaces. That is particularly important at these two car parks which are accessible only by awkward routes.

It is several years since the Council switched of some of its advance car parking space availability signs. A promise that available space information would be integrated into “Sat Nav” systems has not yet materialised., although this si common on electric vehicle charging platforms

The result is unnecessarily long journeys with all that entails in terms of extra pollution.

So now the City of York Council, in partnership with York BID, have introduced the new ‘pay on exit’ equipment, which has been upgraded to enable customers to pay for parking as they leave the car park, in a hope to improve the customer experience.

The new ticketless systems will enable residents and visitors to pay for parking as they leave, rather than in advance.

A successful ‘pay on exit’ trial was undertaken in Marygate car park back in 2016 and the new system has now been expanded to the Coppergate Centre car park too.

The new system uses ANPR cameras to provide ticketless parking at both car parks. ANPR cameras will read the car registration plate on entering the car park. When visitors leave, all they need to do is go to the payment machine and type in their car registration plate.

Blue badge holders are able to scan their barcode or QR code for free or discounted parking at the Coppergate Centre car park. At Marygate, where designated disabled parking bays are outside the car park and  occupied, blue badge holders wishing to park inside the car park are able to scan their barcode or QR code for free or discounted parking.  

ANPR cameras will read the car registration plate on leaving the car park and all visitors need to do is pay any required charge for their stay.

The ticketless parking system will recognise that payment has been made and the barrier will raise automatically to allow drivers to exit.

The introduction of ANPR systems mean car park scratch cards are no longer able to be used in the car parks.
If anyone holds a parking permit for a car park where ANPR ticketless parking is in place, they’ll still be able to use the car park as normal. To find out more on this visit the page on the council website.

It’s hoped that the ‘pay on exit’ system will be rolled out across other city car parks.

Please note: Marygate car park currently has reduced capacity during the important Environment Agency works taking place in the area, and larger vehicles will be operating/using the narrow access road.

The new pay on exit payment systems have been introduced as the new national restrictions change from 12 April to include:

  • Non-essential retail reopening
  • Outdoor hospitality is allowed
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can resume
  • Libraries, community centres and indoor leisure facilities can reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
  • The rule of six or two households still applies and we can only spend time with those we don’t live with outside.

Restrictions remain in place, which means you will still need to sanitise your hands, wear face coverings and keep socially distanced. 

The council is continuing to support local businesses and has prepared for the next stage of lockdown rule easing on 12 April. Extra measures introduced in the city will include:

  • The installation of temporary public toilets, additional litter bins and additional cleaning taking place in the city centre
  • extending the Covid Support Marshalls programme until the end of June
  • submitting planning applications required for temporary managed outdoor spaces to help people see friends and family safely
  • making it easier for people to get tested, offering a collect option at our testing sites and opening up symptom-free testing to all adults and children of secondary school age and above.

Coronavirus York updates; 14th April 2021

Deaths

There were no additional hospital deaths announced today

Test results

Following further retrospective changes, the cumulative case number total in York is now 12,169

The number of cases has fallen from 28 yesterday to 21 today

As forecast, the rate per 100k population figure has fallen back to 9.97. It is expected to remain around 10 for the remainder of the week.

The case reduction profile continues to mirror the trend seen in May and June of last year. Then too, there was an occasional spike in infection rates.

Infection rates at regional and national levels remain stable

Neighbourhoods

Only two neighbourhoods in York (Clifton Without/Skelton and Clifton North) have more than 2 cases.

Vaccinations

Tests

3887 PCR tests were carried out in York during the week ending 9th April

Of these, 0.6% were positive. This compares to a positivity rate of 0.7% on the previous day.

1633 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 13th April.

Hospitals

Bed occupancy at local hospitals remans stable

Muddled thinking on new Burnholme development?

A planning application for an 83-home development at Burnholme are set to be approved by the Council planning committee.  The application is from the Council itself. It is high density and has been criticised by the Council’s own highways team who believe that the layout will hinder waste collection activities and exacerbate parking problems across a wide area.

Other major criticisms relate to a lack of car parking space and security. There is less than one space per home although experience elsewhere suggests that, at least,  the 33 three and four bedroomed homes will house 2 or more car owners. Parking space permits would be allocated annually (maximum one per house).

Bizarrely only 4 of the parking spaces will have electric vehicle charging points although the development is supposed to be a model of self-sufficiency.

The terraced housing will have communal back lanes. Similar social experiments over the years have failed when occupants turned out to have different lifestyle choices than those envisaged by the scheme designers.

The homes are likely to be expensive to buy but have the advantage of low running costs due to high insulation standards.

At this development the Council seem to be edging towards supporting the option of  living hedge boundaries – a choice  their Shape housing company denies potential occupants of the Lowfields development.

Of the 83 homes 16 would be for Social Rent and 16 would be  Shared Ownership. There are 5 self-build plots.

Just how many people are actually prepared to pay £300,000 for a home incorporating a folksy requirement to shop using a cargo bike plus cheek by jowl living with near neighbours remains to  be seen.

Coronavirus York updates; 13th April 2021

Deaths

The figures detailing the number of deaths of York residents due to COVID 19 have been updated.

They show that, during the latest week for which information is available (W/E 2/4/21), two York residents died.

One fatality occurred in a care home and one at a hospital.

Cumulatively 375 York residents have now lost their lives to the disease.

One additional death has been announced by the York Hospital Trust today. It occurred on Sunday.

After a period with no fatalities, the latest case was one of four deaths that occurred last week.

Test results

Three additional positive test results were reported today. They bring the cumulative total up to 12,170

The number of cases in the City has risen from 19 to 28.

The rate /100k Population figure has, as expected, risen to 13.29 today.

This is largely due to the 10 positive test results which were recorded on 8th April (shortly after the Easter Bank Holiday) The rate is expected to fall below 10 tomorrow before fluctuating around that level for the rest of the week.

Despite the uptick today, case rate figures in York remain below the regional and national averages

Neighbourhoods

The spike in case numbers has been restricted to just 5 neighbourhoods in York.

Vaccinations

A vaccination can now be booked by anyone over 45.

Visit this web site Book a coronavirus vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

53.8% of York adults have now received their first vaccination.

12.8% have received both doses

Tests

3619 PCR tests were carried out in York during the week ending 8th April 2021.

Of these, 0.7% were positive. This represents an increase on the previous days figure of 0.5%

In addition 2769 “lateral flow” tests were carried out on 12th April.

Hospitals

There are now no COVID-19 patients being treated in the intensive care unit by the York Hospital Trust