Coronavirus York 16th July 2021

Hospitals & Deaths

Two additional COVID-19 deaths have been announced by the York Hospital Trust today. Both occurred on Wednesday. They are the first fatalities notified since the 30th June.

Test results

135 positive test results today. Brings the cumulative total up to 15,856

The number of cases in the City has increased from 861 to 876

The rate /100k population is now 415.94. A further increase is expected when tomorrows figures are confirmed.


The highest infection rate is currently in the Foxwood North/Westfield/Chapelfields neighbourhood.


661 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Thursday)


  • 8305 PCR tests were undertaken during the week ending 11th July 2021
  • Of these, 11.0% were positive. This is higher than the 10.6% positivity found during the previous period
  • In addition, 3464 “lateral flow” tests were undertaken on 14th July.

Council commentary

The York Council has updated its “open data” commentary on the pandemic

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 16.07.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 13.7.21 there had been 51 total covid telephony triages in the CYC area in the last 7 days. The peak number of triages was 192 in the 7 day period to 22.9.20.

• As at 15.7.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 671 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 3,756 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 15.7.21 York has had 15,721 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 7,464 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (8,162) and regional (8,809) averages.

• 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 (12.7.21) is Green.

• The provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 7.7.21 to 13.7.21 in York is 430.6 (907 cases). (Using data published on on 15.7.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 4.7.21 to 10.7.21 in York was 408.8 (861 cases). The national and regional averages at this date were 350.3 and 463.4 respectively (using data published on on 15.7.21).

• York is currently ranked 104th 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 10.7.21, the number of cases in each ward varied from 14 to 72 and rates varied from 240.4 to 627.1 per 100,000.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 4.7.21 to 10.7.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 72.6 (36 cases). The national and regional averages were 70.6 and 95.8 respectively. Case rates are highest in the following age ranges: 15-19 (1,100 per 100,000); 20-24 (743); 10-14 (695) and 30-34 (626).

• As at 13.7.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 16.01%. The national and regional averages are 13.5% and 17.5% respectively.

• As at 13.7.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 1.38%. The national and regional averages are 1.3% and 1.8% respectively.

• As at 13.7.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 1.4%. The national average is 1.6%.

• As at 9.7.21 York University reported 110 individuals within the University community who were currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test. The peak number was 331 on the 19.10.20.

• As at 12.6.21 York St. John reported 2 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

• Local Contact Tracing. Between 10.3.21 and 9.7.21, 1,599 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 1,481 (92.6%) were successful and 118 (7.4%) 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 15.7.21 there were 7 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 of either a staff member or resident) in a residential care setting in York were reported by PHE on 2.7.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 12.7.21 there were 158 children of primary or secondary school age who tested positive (across 39 different schools).

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 13.7.21 there were 15 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General/Acute beds. The previous figure was 15 on 7.7.21. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 13.7.21 there were 2 confirmed Covid-19 patients and 0 suspected Covid-19 patients in the Intensive Treatment Unit. The previous figures were 1 and 0 on 7.7.21. The peak number for people in ITU was 19 on 10.5.20.

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 9.7.21 was estimated to be in the range 1.3 to 1.6. The previous estimate was (1.2 to 1.4) on 2.7.21.

Variants of Concern

• In the latest month for which data is available, 792 cases in York (with a specimen date between 11th June 2021 and 10th July 2021) had been processed in a laboratory which is able to carry out the required sequencing in order to identify Variants of Concern (VOC) or Variants under Investigation (VUI). Of these, there had been 786 cases (genomically confirmed or provisional genotyping) of the Delta Variant of Concern (VOC-21APR-02) which was first identified in India.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 14.7.21 a total of 146,162 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine. This represents 83.8% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York (ONS 2020)

• As at 13.7.21 a total of 105,945 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine. This represents 60.7% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York (ONS 2020).

• Source: PHE Covid-19 Situational Awareness Explorer.


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 provides a breakdown by age and gender. For both data sources a death from Covid-19 is said to have occurred when Covid-19 has been recorded on the death certificate. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS Weekly data: In the most recent period (Week 26: 26.6.21 to 2.7.21) 0 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. There has been one recorded covid death between week 18 and week 26.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 2nd July 2021 and registered up to 10th July 2021, 397 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (228 in hospital, 136 in care homes, 25 at home/elsewhere and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 188.49 which is lower than the national average of 233.30

• Age / Gender breakdown (using registrar data): The average age of the CYC residents who died was 82.1, with an age range of 40-104. The age profile of the CYC residents who have died is older than the national average (79.4% were aged 75+ compared with 72.9% nationally). 47.9% of the CYC residents who died were male. The national average is 54.4%.

Freedom (to infect) Day?

This web site isn’t particularly impressed by the governments decision to end all legal restricitons on activities on Monday. We have the highest growth in infection levels in the world with growing numbers (nationally) being admitted to hospital. Death rates are also rising. The latest figures show that around 40% of those being admitted to hospital had been vaccinated.

The solution – to ensure maximum safety for the whole community – will have to be a local one. Much more is needed than the welcome – but inadequate – plea from political leaders that people be “kind” to each other.

  1. There must be a determined, high profile, effort to get more people vaccinated. That probably means taking the vaccinators to the patients rather than the other way round. Councillors have a major community role to play in such a process.
  2. A list of “drop in ” vaccination sites with opening hours should be maintained on a central web site and updated in real time. Any shortages (type of vaccine, staff) should be candidly reported
  3. The Council should support the use of “vaccine passports”. Although not favoured by some on civil liberties grounds, the sheer scale of the present problem requires compromises.
  4. Use of facemasks in public indoor areas should continue at least until case numbers reduce considerably.
  5. Access to busy indoor venues should be restricted (by the owners) to those who are double dosed and can produce proof of a recent negative test. Those venues imposing such conditions should be publicised. We beleive that there are many potential customers who would be encouraged to patronise a venue if it continued to be “COVID secure”.
  6. The local impact on the economy of workers self isolating following being “pinged” by the NHS App. should be reported regularly.
  7. More information should be provided each day on where and when infection contacts have occurred.
  8. The local authority must be pro-active and open in its plans for the new educational term. We cannot afford another spike in case numbers like the one that occurred last autumn.

Coronavirus York updates; 15th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

Test results

146 positive test results today. They bring the cumulative total up to 15,721

Case numbers have fallen from 878 to 861

The rate /100k population is 408.81. This is the lowest it is likely to be for some time. Cases in the pipeline mean that a rise to a rate of around 444.,4 is likely on Saturday.



510 vaccinations were completed in the City yesterday (first plus second jabs). That is the lowest figure for several weeks. It is understood this is due to a downturn in people coming forward for a vaccination, rather than any capacity issues.

In some parts of the City, as few as 60% have even had their first jab.

The authorities need a fresh approach. Possibly mobile “vax vans” could tour neighbourhoods with a low take up rate? Something certainly needs to be done to reinvigorate the vaccination campaign. We are only days away from a final relaxation of restricitons. The government predicts that infection rates will then soar. Vaccination remains the main bulwark against rising infection rates.


  • 8257 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 10th July 2021
  • Of these, 10.6% were positive. That is lower than the 10.7% positivity found during the previous period.
  • 3464 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 14th July.

Consultation on City centre access arrangements for Blue Badge holders

Image result for disabled parking gifs

The formal consultation phase has begun on whether to make permanent some of the changes to the footstreets that were introduced in response to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The principles of these changes being made permanent were approved by the York Council’s Executive in November 2020, alongside an ongoing review of access to the city centre, with the formal decision delegated to the Executive Member for Transport.

At the Executive Member’s Decision Session on the 22 June, the detailed proposals were considered by the Executive Member, including a number of additional Blue Badge parking locations, and agreed to commence the statutory formal consultation to allow a future decision to be made.

The statutory consultation is around the proposal to permanently remove the Blue Badge exemption which allows vehicles displaying a Blue Badge to use a number of city centre streets between 10:30am and 5pm for access.

The city centre streets where the proposals would apply are as follows:

•    Blake Street
•    Castlegate
•    Church Street
•    Colliergate
•    Goodramgate between its junctions with Deangate and King’s Square/Low Petergate
•    Kings Square
•    Lendal
•    St Andrewgate from the highway boundary line on the north east side of Colliergate and north east for 50 metres
•    St Helen’s Square

The precise locations are listed on the York Traffic Management (Amendment) (No 14/10) Order 2021.

This proposal aims to improve road safety in some of the city centre’s busiest pedestrian streets whilst at the same time balancing the needs of businesses and city centre residents.

Removal of the exemption would reduce the number of cars driving in areas where large numbers of pedestrians gather, and increases the security of the area against the potential risk of hostile vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.

At the same time, we are proposing to introduce additional Blue Badge parking around the edge of the footstreet area. The following locations have been identified as being suitable (subject to approval):

•    Carmelite Street
•    Deangate
•    Duncombe Place
•    Dundas Street
•    St Andrewgate
•    St Saviourgate
•    A shared Disabled Person’s (Blue Badge) Parking Place and Loading Bay on Duncombe Place

This would improve the parking availability for Blue Badge holders on the very edges of the pedestrian area and cater for some loading/unloading activities.

These Blue Badge parking proposals were developed after workshop sessions were held earlier this year, where the council listened to members of the public on potential Blue Badge parking options in workshops.

As part of the consultation, there was also a survey that could be completed by Blue Badge holders.

At the June Decision Session, the Executive Member for Transport also approved further investigation into additional Blue Badge parking areas.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Transport, said:

The conflict between pedestrians and vehicle movement on some of the footstreets has been an ongoing concern for a number of years.

“The proposal was developed after initially introducing covid response measures on a trial basis last summer and extensive engagement with York residents, where we consulted on the impacts.

“In April this year, Blue Badge holders were invited to share their views on potential new parking spaces on the edge of York city centre through completing a survey and attending workshops.

“Based on resident’s feedback, these new Blue Badge parking options have been proposed on the edge of the footstreet areas. We will also be exploring additional Blue Badge parking options in York city centre. This will help to ensure that there is an improved quality of Blue Badge parking, alongside the increased availability of Blue Badge parking spaces.

The council response to the issue will also be debated at full council this week.

“We hope that you are able to support the proposals but should you wish to object, you can email or write to us.”

Should you wish to object, please email or write to the contact details below, giving your grounds for objection, to arrive no later than 6 August 2021.

•    Postal address: Director of Economy & Place, Network Management, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA
•    Email:

Unroadworthy taxis found in York

Poorly-maintained taxis have been taken off the road as part of a joint safety operation.

Fourteen out of 16 taxi and private hire vehicles that were inspected were issued with legal notices. The drivers also had their taxi licence suspended.

Faults included tyres that were so worn the inner cords were exposed, fuel leaks and doors that wouldn’t open.

The defects were so unsafe that immediate prohibition notices were issued on seven of the 16 vehicles, meaning they must not be driven.

Issues with brakes, wheel nuts, exhausts suspension components were also found on a further seven vehicle during the vehicle inspections in York at the weekend. They were issued with delayed prohibition notices, meaning the faults must be fixed and the vehicle re-inspected.

The vehicles were from various local authority areas, including York and West Yorkshire.

They were stopped by police on roads in York and taken to a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) inspection site.

It was part of a joint road safety operation involving North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, the DVSA and licensing enforcement officers from City of York Council and local authorities in West Yorkshire.

Similar operations are planned in the near future.

Traffic Constable Mark Patterson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “It’s shocking that seven of the 16 vehicles we checked were so poorly maintained, we had to use immediate prohibition powers to ensure they didn’t go back onto the road.

“Proper vehicle maintenance is always important, especially for professional drivers who the public trust to transport them safely. There is simply no excuse for neglecting this.

“By working with the DVSA and local authorities, we can ensure anyone who doesn’t maintain their vehicle to the correct standard is detected and dealt with robustly.”

Waste collection and other problems mount for York residents

Anyone reading the agenda for todays City of York Council meeting may mistake it for a meeting of a University debating society. Verbose, borderline pompous, motions and amendments dominate the agenda.

As the first face to face meeting of the authority since coronavirus struck, there has been plenty of time to fashion an agenda which talks to the people of the City.

Instead we have are offered the spectacle of Council members essentially having a chat with each other.

The City’s day to day problems may as well be taking place on another planet.

The meeting is, for the first time, being held at the racecourse. Perhaps bookmakers will be on hand to offer odds on anything useful emerging as the race reaches the final furlong at 10:00pm?

Earlier in the week, the Councillor responsible for waste collection held a special meeting to discuss the pressing issue of the release of “Chinese lanterns” in the City. The opportunity to also discuss the backlog in refuse collection was missed.

Yet hundreds of unemptied green bins currently adorn our streets.

Earlier a controversial change in the playground refurbishment programme was agreed at a “behind closed doors” meeting. Emergency “delegation” powers – which allow officers to make decisions without consultation or democratic input – were exploited.

The opposition claim (with some justification) to be outraged by the decision. Have they found a way of holding those responsible to account? Apparently not, judging by tonight’s agenda.

With (rightly or wrongly) COVID restrictions being lifted from Monday, the Councils top priority should now be to end the emergency powers and introduce effective governance arrangements.

In the real world, taxpayers expect basic public standards to be maintained.

It is not just the York Council that is out of touch.

Sad to report that, as of yesterday, the promised work to remove overgrowth obstructions from the A64/Tadcaster Road cycle path had not been completed by Highways/Yorks or the Council.

Obstructions on Tadcaster Road cycle path

The lack of action contrasts with the panic decisions taken last spring when roads and car parks were closed in order to allow “social distancing” on paths which were already much wider than those which are currently obstructed.

Coronavirus York updates; 14th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

Test results

192 positive test results today. That is the highest single day total found since the January peak. The cumulative total is now 15,575

The number of cases in the City has increased from 871 to 878

The rate /100k population is now 412.14 but it is trending to reach at least 436 over the weekend.

Infection rates are starting to trend upwards again



596 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Tuesday). That is the lowest figure for over two months.

A particularly stupid example of vandalism. One of the direction signs for the Askham Bar vaccination centre has been obscured with paint. It could make access more difficult for people who may later owe their lives to a successful vaccination.

People can make their own decisions about whether to get a jab. Society in general will benefit from the highest possible levels of immunity

Damaged direction sign to the vax. centre on Tadcaster Road. Fortunately there is another sign further along the road.


  • 8323 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 9th July 2021.
  • Of these, 10.8% were positive. That is higher than the 10.7% positivity rate found during the previous period.
  • 2222 “lateral flow” tests were also completed on 13th July 2021

What comes around

Periodically in York someone rediscovers the Holy Grail. A “light bulb” moment produces a plan for a central bus station, river buses or an ice-skating rink. Feasibility studies are dusted off from previous incarnations. Costs/practicalities soon act as a sedative for the excitement generated.

So we may see the same again as plans for a riverside walk on the Coney Street side of the river Ouse were unveiled earlier in the week. It was coupled with a reincarnated plan to provide a pedestrian footbridge from North Street to the walkway near City Screen.

Of course, over the centuries, the attractions of the riverside have been recognised by successive generations. New Walk – south of the City centre – was created as long ago as 1730.

Within the historic core, the importance of riverside access owes part of its genesis to the work of JB Morrell in 1940’s York.

Successive strategic plans for the City have urged developers and landowners to make provision for a walkway behind Coney Street. Some have done so, most recently in the area around City Screen. The Council made no such provision for “permeability” as part of its current Guildhall renovation plans.

The extra pedestrian bridge plan is much more recent invention. The brainchild of a Labour Councillor in the 1990s it was dubbed a “bridge to nowhere” even when it seemed possible that it might also accommodate cyclists. It remains an expensive irrelevance at a time when funds are tight.

Consultants have now produced a brief.

The latest plans do have the support of a local private developer who has a significant land interest on Coney Street.  That should be encouraged.

The Council must, however, stop short of borrowing any more money to support its plans. The City is already too heavily in debt.

In the meantime, early progress on the scheme depends on the success of a bid for central government funding. Quite when this, apparently never-ending, source of funding will dry up remains to be seen.

We suspect that it will be several generations before it is possible to walk along the whole length of the river Ouse in the City.

Coronavirus York updates; 13th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

The latest government figures covering the period up to 2nd July, confirm that there have been no further York resident deaths in any setting. The cumulative COVID fatalities total remains at 379

Test results

127 positive test results today. Brings cumulative total up to 15,383.

The number of cases in the City has reduced from 876 to 871

The rate /100k population falls to 413.56. the upward trend has leveled off.


15 of York’s 24 neighbourhoods are now recording very high coronavirus case levels.

Some areas are seeing their highest ever infection rates – exceeding both the autumn and winter peaks.


738 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Monday).

The vaccination rate in York has slowed during recent days


  • 8268 PCR test were conducted during the week ending 8th July 2021.
  • Of these 10.8% were positive. That is the highest positivity rate recorded during the present surge in case numbers in the City
  • In addition, 3154 “lateral flow” test were conducted on 12th July

Acomb Moor right of way plan to be published this week?

A report to a Council meeting* taking place next week (20/7/21) promises that the long delayed decision, which will lead to the confirmation that a public right of way (PROW) exists across Acomb Moor, will be progressed over the next 7 days.

The proposal that a PROW exists was lodged, by the local residents association, with the Council in 2018. It was supported by “evidence of use” forms supplied by many local people. The route links Foxwood Lane to Osprey Close and forms part of a popular walking and exercise route for residents. It also offers a short cut from Acomb Wood to Acomb via Askham Lane.

The meeting will consider the progress being made on several PROW applications including those in Dunnington, Heslington, Naburn, Heworth, Westfield (Acomb Moor), and three orders in Skelton. The report says “publicity for the making of these orders will be happening at the time of the decision session or shortly after”.

The Council last considered the issue in November 2019 at which point they determined to make an order.

Nothing has happened since, with the Council blaming inadequate staff resources for the delay. In the interim – for the first time in over 30 years – the field on Foxwood Lane was put to crop.

An attempt was also made to block the access to the moor. This followed years of neglect of the stile structure. A tree truck was used to obstruct an access which had been in use for over 40 years.

With the pandemic making outside exercise an even more important aspect of daily life, informal access arrangements sprang up at several points along the field boundary. The path around the field (but not across it) continued to be well used.

However, access for the less ambient and disabled became impossible.

The Council failed to take any enforcement action against the owners.

The Council will now make the order and there will be a period of 6 weeks during which objections can be lodged. If any are unresolved, the matter would be referred to the Secretary of State for a final decision.

All in all, the Councils effectiveness in dealing with this issue has been less than impressive. Lets hope that some progress can be made quickly now and that access arrangements to the moor can be regularised.

*The meeting is open to the public. Representations can be made by Email to the responsible executive Councillor ( or in person (to register, contact Robert Flintoft Telephone – (01904) 555704 Email –

Coronavirus York updates; 12th July 2021

Stop Press

The media are reporting that Fulford school is closing because of a very high level of COVID infections and contacts.

There are 107 cases among York school pupils

York hospital and primary care is under “immense pressure,” says public health director Sharon Stoltz at a York Council meeting this evening. She says healthcare staff are demoralised and worried about another wave. “Many are off work with COVID, self-isolating, caring for children who are self isolating or off sick with mental health problems”

Change to government policy for relaxations on 19th July

The guidance for vulnerable people has been updated (click link)

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 – GOV.UK (

The government is changing its stance on the removal of restrictions on 19th July.

  • After July 19 businesses and large events will be “supported and encouraged to use certification in high risk settings to help limit the spread of infections in their venues”. Certification will involve asking attendees to prove their vaccination status by showing the NHS app; showing a NHS text or email proving they have had a recent negative lateral flow test in the past 48 hours; or showing a positive PCR test within the last six months suggesting they will have immunity from the virus.
  • New guidance will also be issued for people who are clinically vulnerablewhich will encourage them to meet others outside and to check the vaccination status of their social contacts. 
  • the Government will “recommend” that people in England continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as on public transport. It is understood the guidance will apply to indoor settings that are less likely to be ventilated and where people are likely to come across others with whom they do not normally mix.
  • Under updated guidance, the instruction to “work from home” will be lifted on July 19, but businesses will be told to avoid allowing all staff to return at once, “We expect and recommend a gradual return to the workplace over the summer.”

Hospital patient numbers and deaths

Hospital patients numbers edging up. Now two in intensive care.

Test results

130 new positive test results today. Brings cumulative total up to 15,126

The number of cases in the City has risen from 854 to 876

The rate /100k population has increased to 415.94.

The infection rate has leveled off but is not yet showing any signs of a sustained fall

The infection rate in York has now fallen below the regional average. It remains above the national average


The Heslington/University neighbourhood is no longer in the above 400 infection rate banding.

11 neighbourhoods now have very high infection levels


606 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Sunday)

A significant milestone was passed, with more than 60% of York residents now having received both their first and second doses.


  • 8238 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 7th July 2021.
  • Of these, 10.6% were positive. That is more tha the 10.4% found during the previous period.
  • 3335 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 11th July 2021