The latest claimant count figures for York show a total of 4995 residents now unemployed. This represents 3.6% of the population.
Perhaps not surprisingly – given the health restrictions – unemployment has increased by 51% compared to this time last year.
York’s employment rate, however, remains higher than either the regional or national averages.
The figures do not include those who are on “furlough”. It will become clearer in the autumn how many of these jobs will be sustained into the future. The country is now in recession (economy shrinking), so recovery may be slow.
In York the important visitor economy is slowly improving. Traders will be hoping that this trend is sustained in the important period up to the new year.
After that, things are less predictable with the roll out of an effective conronavirus vaccine likely to be a key driver of any recovery.
The York Councils public heath director has been quoted in the media saying that there are four Coronavirus patients currently in the York hospital. Two of these are in the Intensive Care Unit. The figures have not yet been added to the Open Data web site.
As predicted earlier in the week, the York Council are to undertake their own “track and trace” system. It will be in place before the new school term commences. A meeting yesterday was told that “there have been 97 positive Covid-19 cases registered with the test and trace scheme in York – with 82 of them contacted, leading 176 contacts to be identified. Of those, 113 have been traced“. Again these figures haven’t been added to the Open Data web site
The test and trace system is to “go local” as the Government appears to acknowledge that the national system, described as “world beating”, is not fit for purpose.
It follows intense criticism over the reach of the national centralised service, which was set up an awarded to private companies, and its failure to tap into local knowledge to tackle outbreaks of the coronavirus in England.
Last month, it was revealed the system was failing to reach more than half the contacts named by infected people in areas battling acute outbreaks of the virus.
On Monday this week, DHSC announced the NHS Test and Trace programme will now provide local authorities across England with a dedicated team of contact tracers to ensure that as many people as possible are being reached, in what the department described as a “new way of working” and a “more tailored service”.
This could mean people who have been in contact with confirmed coronavirus cases may get a knock on their door if tracers are unable to reach them over the phone.
“As the approach becomes more locally targeted the national service will adjust,” DHSC said. “NHS Test and Trace will reduce current extra capacity and reduce the number of non-NHS call handlers.”
They continued: “Data on the virus continues to be actively monitored through PHE and the Joint Biosecurity Centre so that staff numbers can be quickly scaled up, or down, depending on requirements for the national service and as part of winter preparations.”
An effective system of contact tracing is widely viewed as critical in keeping down the transmission rate of the virus by reaching out to those who have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive, and urging them to self-isolate for 10 days.
However, last week’s figures showed that thousands of people are still not being reached by the test and trace program mme and the head of outsourcing company Serco, which employs over 10,000 of the tracers, admitted up to a fifth of contacts may be untraceable.
The data added that the national call centers were struggling to reach contacts, with only 56 per cent of close contacts handled online or by call centers being reached and told to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus.
In stark contrast, a local contact tracing system set up in Blackburn with Darwen Council had reached 90 per cent of the people the Government’s national system was failing to contact in an area with one of the worst Covid-19 infection rates.
Council to tackle digital exclusion in Coronavirus response
City of York Council will be hosting a digital inclusion workshop with Citizens Online and Explore Libraries this week, to bring city partners together to share insight and best practice .
Going forward in partnership the aim is to join up activity, share information and resources and encourage collaboration.
Throughout lockdown, the Council have been working in partnership with organisations across the city to promote digital inclusion for residents and tenants who lack connectivity or access to digital devices.
As facilities such as libraries and the council’s West Offices were required to close at the beginning of lockdown, residents who did not have internet access or computers at home were no longer able to access these public facilities. As part of our emergency response to the impact of Coronavirus, the council and partners expanded and initiated a variety of schemes and work to address the growing need for internet access. These schemes included:
Eligible residents who lack internet access at home have been supported through lockdown with devices such as smart phones and laptops (plus data) through York’s emergency funding scheme. Households in need of devices were identified in partnership with support workers and charities across the city.
Around 50 laptops have been loaned by York Learning to learners wanting to continue their studies during lockdown who didn’t have the equipment to do so. Those already on accredited courses such as apprenticeships, computer skills and functional skills courses in maths and English have been prioritised.
Independent Living Centre tenants without online devices have been provided with smartphones and three months of mobile data to keep in touch with friends and family, and to ensure they can order any food and prescriptions they need. Where they have been allocated, the tenants are regularly video calling, ringing and texting friends and family members which, they say, has been a lifeline. When the time-limited contract expires, tenants can continue to use the phone when they buy and add their own sim cards. This means they and staff can also keep in touch which helps break down isolation.
Throughout lockdown, York’s superfast broadband network has also been further extended to now reach 72% of the city.
Residents and businesses reminded about financial support
City of York Council is reminding residents and businesses that support is available for those who are currently in council tax or business rates arrears due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the next week we will be contacting people who are currently in arrears with their council tax or business rates offering support and information
Revenue from council tax and business rates is essential to ensure the council can continue to provide a wide range of services to support residents, our most vulnerable citizen and businesses across the city.
Several support schemes are currently in place, including:
Council Tax Support – the amount people get is based on their household income and savings, so are likely to qualify if on welfare benefits or a low income.
Council Tax Discretionary Reduction Scheme – provides extra assistance for people who are unable to pay their council tax bill. People can apply for this reduction whether or not they are eligible for, or receive Council Tax Support.
Some people can get a discount on their Council Tax bill, to check what discounts are available please visit www.york.gov.uk/counciltax
Two additional positive test results announced today bring the cumulative total to 931. There have been no additional hospital deaths
Live Q&A to discuss resident questions about public health
Join the next live #AskTheLeaders Live Q&A on the council’s Facebook page this Tuesday 18 August at 5-6pm, as the panel discuss your questions and comments about the city’s coronavirus response.
This next question and answer session will discuss your questions, with a special focus on public health in York, including guidance around testing, face coverings, social distancing and latest data.
Residents are invited to watch live on Facebook to hear from:
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adults Social Care
Fiona Phillips, Assistant Director of Public Health
Dr Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health,
NHS Vale of York CCG
Inspector Andrew Godfrey, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for York City Centre, North Yorkshire Police
The live event takes place the day before the city’s next Outbreak Management Advisory Board. The board includes representatives from public health, public transport, the NHS, Universities and City of York Council who will review the city’s outbreak control plan, as work continues on York’s response to the pandemic.
Residents can interact with the session by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them toYourQuestions@york.gov.uk or commenting on the live video on Facebook where leaders will read out questions and respond.* Questions may be answered by theme rather than individually, so that the conversation covers as many topics as possible.
For the latest York updates on service changes, online support and how you can get involved in supporting your community visit www.york.gov.uk/Coronavirus
*Please note: Resident do not need a Facebook account to watch the live video however, they will need their own Facebook account to comment on the video with their questions (alternatively questions can be emailed to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk).
No additional hospital deaths announced in York today. However, deaths in hospitals elsewhere in Yorkshire & the North East were higher than in other parts of the country.
There have been no additional positive test results in York today. We are currently experiencing about 3 new cases each week.
The latest figures released by the government today suggest that 0.05% of these tested in the community in Yorkshire and Humberside recorded positive results. New infection rates dropped during June but increased again towards the end of July.
The Council has updated its commentary on the pandemic on the open data web site. They say
DIAGNOSED CASES (Pillar 1 and 2 combined)
• As at 6.8.20 York has had 928 cases, a rate of 440.6 per 100,000 of population. The England rate is 472.3. The Yorkshire & Humber rate is 594.6. The most recent cases in York had a test specimen date of 3.8.20 (2 cases).
• 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 (4.8.20) is Amber. The rating was triggered by a higher than ‘expected’ number of cases per 100 tests once in the last 14 days (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 latest weekly National Covid-19 Surveillance Report released on 31.7.20 and covering the week up to 26.7.20, showed that the 7 day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population tested under Pillar 1 and 2 was 4.29 for York. York was ranked 73rd out of 150 local authorities (with 1 being the lowest rate).
• The latest confirmed 7 day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population for York is 2.85. This is for the 7 day period up to 31.7.20. This excludes cases with a sample date in the last few days due to partial data and lags in reporting. The national average is 8.8 and the regional average is 15.7.
• As at 4.8.20, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 only) was 0.33% (5 positives out of 1,528 tests). The positivity rate in York is lower than national (1.2%) and regional (1.8%) averages.
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 provides a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:
• ONS weekly data: For deaths occurring up to 24th July 2020 and registered up to 1st August 2020, 169 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (82 in hospital, 74 in care homes, 9 at home, 3 in a hospice and 1 in an ‘other communal establishment’). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 80.24 which is lower than the national average of 87.08
• ‘Excess’ deaths (ONS). In week 30 (18 July to 24 July), 20 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 3.8.20 (for deaths occurring up to 29.7.20), a cumulative total of 161 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. 85 of the 161 were male (52.8%), slightly less than the national average (55%). 81 of the deaths occurred in hospital and 80 were community deaths (e.g. at home or in a care home or hospice). 69 people (42.9%) died in nursing /care homes (the national average is 29.6%). In addition 13 people (8.1%) 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, 58.5% of COVID-19 deaths occurring at York Hospital have been CYC residents. (NB NHS Trusts record deaths following a positive covid-19 test whereas ONS record deaths where covid-19 in mentioned on the death certificate so the totals are not the same).
• Deaths at York Hospital: As at 6.8.20, 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.
Call for parking App info to be updated
We have called on the Council and its RingGo partner to provide parking space availability information on their parking app.
The information is provided by RingGo for car parks in other towns and cities.
New freephone line for those in mental distress
NHS Tees, Esk Wear and Valley have introduced a new freephone line which will make it easier for people in mental distress to access urgent help.
People in York, including children and older people, can contact their local TEWV crisis service on freephone number : 0800 0516171.
Following the success of the Trust’s single point of access telephone number launched earlier in the year, and in response to national guidance, the freephone line will help reduce barriers to accessing help in a mental health emergency.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, callers, including those with learning disabilities and/or autism, will be offered a series of options which will divert them to their local crisis service. People calling the existing single point of access number will automatically be diverted to the freephone line with a view to this replacing the 0300 number in the coming months.
Additional facemask requirements from tomorrow (Saturday)
In addition to existing locations facemasks will be required at
Indoor Entertainment Venues (amusement Arcades, Funfairs, Adventure Activities E.g. Laser Quest, Go-karting, Escape Rooms, Heritage Sites Etc)
Libraries and Public Reading Rooms
Museums, Galleries, Aquariums, Indoor Zoos or Visitor Farms, or Other Indoor Tourist, Heritage or Cultural Sites
Nail, Beauty, Hair Salons and Barbers – Other Than Where Necessary to Remove for Treatments
Place of Worship
Premises Providing Professional, Legal or Financial Services
Public Areas in Hotels and Hostels
Storage and Distribution Facilities
Tattoo and Piercing Parlours
Job Retention Bonus
The government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.
Government have so far released an overview of the eligibility requirements and what employers need to do now to claim the bonus. Full guidance will be published by the end of September.
The Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs announcement in July included a range of incentives that are available to employers recruiting apprentices, including those that have previously been made redundant. Incentives include:
a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice employers hire, aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021, for new recruits. These payments are in addition to the existing £1,000 payment for new 16-18 year-old apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. an additional £111 million this year for traineeships in England, to triple participation in traineeships. Government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience at a rate of £1,000 per trainee and expand eligibility for traineeships to those with Level 3 qualifications and below. an additional £32 million funding over the next two years for the National Careers Service so that 269,000 more people in England can receive personalised advice on training and work. A Job Retention Bonus – a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.
Although no figures have been published at City level, national statistics indicate that the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus antibodies is around 6%. This does not include tests undertaken in hospitals or care homes.
The same source says that the number of positive virus test results in Yorkshire rose during the last few days of July.
The overall death toll from COVID-19 in York remains at 169.
There have been no further Hospital deaths in the City today. There has been another positive test result bringing the total to 928
York residents thanked for supporting independent businesses
A recent campaign run by City of York Council with Make It York and Indie York highlighted the lengths the city’s independents are going to create a safe, welcoming experience for customers.
As a part of this initiative, York Kind case studies, which have highlighted how different independent retailers are adapting and responding to the pandemic, have reached over 115,000 people online, with 4,000 people showing their support, by liking or sharing the stories.
Keith Aspden, Council leader, commented:
“It’s been inspiring to see the resilience and compassion with which our communities have responded to the crisis. Our local business community have worked hard to reopen safely, so it’s great to see so many people supporting the creative, independent businesses which make our city so unique.
“By shopping locally not only do we support our small and independent businesses and the staff and suppliers who rely on them, but also directly invest in our local communities at this challenging time.
“As we welcome residents back to the city and our shopping areas, we are continuing to put the safety of residents and visitors at the forefront of our reopening efforts, and by working with businesses across the city we are establishing and promoting social distancing measures. So please do continue to shop local to support our amazing local businesses and remember to stay safe whilst doing so.”
Johnny Hayes, Chair of Indie York:
“It was great to be involved in the #YorkKind campaign, shining a light on the efforts of our members to bring life back to the city and provide the products and experiences which York residents have been missing. We invite people to come and enjoy something to eat in August at our independent restaurants and cafés who are participating the in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.”
A new way for residents to have conversations about how to live their lives independently and well is opening up this week.
Following lockdown in March, Talking Points have been unable to operate. Now, new online video appointments and drop-in sessions are available. Through these, residents can talk with City of York Council’s adult social care team, face-to-face and in a safe but effective way.
As before lockdown, residents can choose to book an appointment with a member of the adult social care team on a given date and time or, they can opt to join a drop-in session and wait for a private conversation.
As usual, residents will be able to access information, advice and support from adult social care staff as well as find out more about local activities, support and resources.
This new scheme has been successfully trialled with a number of carers who were already familiar with the pre-lockdown Talking Points. It uses a secure system widely used by the NHS called Attend Anywhere. People wanting to use the system, can get familiar with it at https://www.york.gov.uk/VideoAppointments .
The drop-ins will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm.They will take place just like the former drop-ins, but people will enter a virtual waiting room via https://www.york.gov.uk/VideoAppointments#dropin . There, they will simply ‘wait’ in the virtual lobby for a contact worker to be free when they can meet them face-to-face online.
People who contact adult social care and for whom a video appointment with a member of the adult social care team would be helpful, will be emailed a date and a time and a weblink to a virtual waiting room. In that waiting room, the resident’s details will be checked to ensure they are the individual who is expected. Once that’s confirmed, they will be invited to join the worker online, and each can see and hear the other. Adult social care workers will continue to be available on the usual number at 01904 555111.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Feedback from those taking part in the trial is that these online conversations are an easy, convenient and secure way for residents to get the information, advice and support they need.
“Important appointments can be kept online while protecting residents, their carers and families as well as our staff. It also enables people to meet virtually, so that we can give the best possible advice and support for them to lead the lives they want.”
An additional death was recorded in a York Care home on 28th July. It was the first Coronavirus care home fatality since the 14th July and brings the cumulative total to 78. The figures are supplied retrospectively by the Care Quality Commission to the Office of National Statistics (ONS)