Coronavirus York updates; 8th April 2021

Deaths

The latest ONS figures, covering the number of deaths of York residents attributable to COVID-19, have been published.

During the week ending 26th March NO fatalities were recorded.

This is the first week since 2nd October 2020 when there has been a zero death toll.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been 125 deaths in care homes in the City, 219 in hospitals, 21 at home and 8 in a hospice.

In total the pandemic has seen 373 fatalities among York residents.

One additional death was announced by the York Hospital Trust today. The fatality occurred on Tuesday (6th April)

Test Results

Six more positive test results gave been announced today. That brings the cumulative total up to 12,225

Case numbers in the City have fallen from 39 to 33.

As anticipated the infection rate /100k population figure has fallen back to 15.67 today. Further reductions are likely over the next two or three days

We seem to have established a virtuous circle now now with fewer opportunities for transmission of the virus – a result of good social distancing and the vaccination programme.

As a result, the decline in case numbers is paralleling the rate of reduction seen in May and June last year (towards the end of “Wave 1” of the pandemic).

See comparator graph below.

Neighbourhoods

Only two neighbourhoods now have a case rate over 50. In addition, there is one neighbourhood with a rate between 10 and 50.

The 21 other areas all now have fewer than 3 cases. Several now have zero cases.

Vaccinations

People in the 40 -49 age group should start to get invitations to be vaccinated from next week

Background slides published by York Council

Tests

3799 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 3rd April 2021.

Of these, 0.7% proved to be positive. This is the same proportion as was recorded on the previous day.

2828 “lateral flow” tests were also undertaken on 7th April 2021

Hospitals

More good news as the number of COVID-19 patients, being cared for by the York Hospital Trust, has fallen below 20. The number in intensive care has halved to just one.

Police praise for Bank Holiday behaviour in North Yorkshire

Covid response: Please keep up “amazing effort” as we move to Step 2 of the Road Map Out of Lockdown on 12 April

Superintendent Mike Walker is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the Coronavirus and he also chairs the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Partnership. These are his comments about the past week’s Covid-19 related issues including the Easter weekend…

Whilst the long bank holiday weekend was busy throughout the area, there was very little in way of police incidents or issues linked to Covid-19.

Superintendent Mike Walker

We only had to issue 11 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) during this period. All were for indoor gathering breaches, of which 10 occurred in Scarborough.

In total since the easing of the lockdown on 29 March, 14 FPNs have been issued. No incidents of note have been flagged-up during the past week.

It is pleasing that the rightfully careful and cautious Step 1 of the Government’s Road Map Out of Lockdown has gone well in our area.

This is testament to the outstanding partnership working we have in North Yorkshire and the City of York, plus the invaluable support from our communities who have experienced the collective effort to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

As we move to Step 2 of the road map on Monday 12 April, it is now more important than ever to keep following the health protection measures while the vaccination programme is rolled out.

There is still no mixing of households allowed indoors until at least 17 May under Step 3, and the ‘rule of 6’ or two households remains in place regarding outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens.

Our policing teams will be promoting adherence to these rules while on targeted and highly visible patrols.

We will continue to use our ‘4 Es’ approach to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce only as a last resort when a blatant breach has occurred.

Officers and PCSOs will also be on hand to support our local authority, trading standards and licensing partners during checks on businesses such as pubs and restaurants, who be able to provide outdoor hospitality from 12 April.

This is clearly very welcome progress from the extremely worrying situation we faced just a few short months ago.

Our message to everyone is to keep up this amazing effort. Please keep doing all you can to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 or unwittingly spreading the virus to others.

Coronavirus York updates; 7th April 2021

Deaths

No further hospital deaths have been announced today.

Test results

Only one positive test result today. The cumulative case total is now 12,218

The number of cases in the City has increased from 33 to 39

The infection rate has, as forecast, edged up today. The rate /100k population is now 18.52. The rate is expected to resume its downward trend from tomorrow.

The 3 waves graph has been remodeled to facilitate easier comparisons of the effects of easing restrictions

Case numbers continue to fall across Yorkshire

Neighbourhoods

There have been infection rate increases in South Bank and Fulford Road today.

Vaccinations

Tests

3752 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 2nd April 2021

Of these, 0.7% proved to be positive. That is slightly up on the previous days figure of 0.6%

In addition, 1598 “lateral flow” tests were completed on 6th April 2021

York Hospital Trust COVID-19 patients

There has been a fall today in the number of COVID-19 patients being treated by the York Hospital Trust

Outbreak management board meeting papers

York Council coronavirus meeting today.

 
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

2.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

3.

Current Situation in York pdf icon PDF 431 KB

4.

Presentation: Overview of Supporting People to Access the Covid Vaccination

5.

Presentation: York Vaccination Centre: Good Practice For People with Learning Disabilities

6.

York Test and Trace Update pdf icon PDF 599 KB

7.

LGA Outbreak Management Peer Challenge Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 184 KB

8.

Refresh of the Outbreak Control Plan pdf icon PDF 2 MB

9.

Communications Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

10.

Update from Sub-Group: Universities and Higher Education establishments pdf icon PDF 295 KB

11.

Items for Next Agenda

12.

Dates of Future Meetings

13.

Any Other Business

Coronavirus York updates; 6th April 2021

Deaths

There were no further hospital deaths announced today

Test results

No additional positive test results recorded today.

The cumulative total remains at 12,219

The number of cases in the City has fallen from 46 yesterday to 33 today

The rate /100k population figure has fallen to 15.67. This is the lowest figure seen since 6th September 2020.

A small upturn is expected tomorrow but, thereafter, there are hopes that the rate may fall below 10 before restrictions are further relaxed on Monday

One word of caution though is that the impact (if any) of the Easter weekend – and some increased social mingling – won’t be known until later in the week.

The reduction in case numbers in York since 1st March has been very significant.

Infection rates are falling at all levels

Neighbourhoods

Only 5 of York’s 24 neighbourhoods now have 3 or more cases.

Vaccinations

53.5% of York residents have now had their first vaccination.

8.4% have had both doses.

Tests

3926 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 1st April 2021.

Of these, 0.6% provided to be positive. That represents an improvement over the previous days figure of 1%

1952 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 5th April.

Hospitals

The latest figures from the York Hospital Trust show a declining number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care

Coronavirus York updates 5th April 2021

Deaths

No further hospital deaths announced today.

The fatality rate has reduced from the rolling 7 day average of 5.7 seen on 21st January to 0.1 today.

Test results

Four additional positive test results announced today. Brings the cumulative total to 12,219

Four fewer cases today as the 7 case numbers fall from 50 to 46.

The rate /100k population rate has fallen to 21.84. It is set to fall below 20 for the first time since last September when figures are updated tomorrow.

Rates are falling at county and regional level

Neighbourhoods

All but two neighbourhoods have below the national average infection rates

Vaccinations

Not surprisingly, fewer vaccinations were completed on Easter Sunday

Tests

3,975 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 31st March 2021.

Of these, 1.0% were positive. This is less than the 1.2% positives found during the previous period.

2408 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 4th April 2021

Easing of restrictions confirmed

  • The lockdown easing next Monday will be going ahead as England has met the four tests. Boris Johnson confirms 12 April reopening of non-essential shops, outdoor hospitality and hairdressers in England
  • Government reveals traffic light system for foreign travel from 17 May at the earliest
  • Rapid, twice-weekly COVID tests to be offered to everyone in England – including home delivery
  • ‘Vaccine passports’ and before-and-after testing to be trialled at nine events – but no vaccine passports in April or May. COVID-status certificates are being considered both in the UK and for foreign travel – these could include proof of vaccination, a recent negative test result or natural immunity
  • Government scientists warn another wave ‘highly likely’ when restrictions end on 21 June
  • No decision has been taken yet on whether international travel can resume this summer
  • Some coronavirus measures may still be needed after all adults have had a vaccine

What is reopening on 12 May in England?

Boris Johnson has confirmed Step 2 of the lockdown roadmap will take place on 12 April thanks to a successful vaccine programme which is reducing hospital admissions and deaths and the risks are “not fundamentally changed” by new variants.

Indoor mixing of different households will still not be allowed.

  • Outdoor hospitality can reopen, including pubs and restaurants – with the rule of six or a larger group from two households
  • Customers will not have to buy a substantial meal to have an alcoholic drink and there will be no curfew but people will have to be seated when ordering and eating or drinking
  • Non-essential retail can reopen
  • Hairdressers, beauty and nail salons can reopen
  • Gyms and spas, but no saunas and steam rooms, can reopen
  • Public buildings, including libraries and communities centres, will reopen
  • Other outdoor hospitality such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
  • Two specified people can visit care home residents
  • Children can attend indoor children’s activities, including sport
  • Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five) can restart indoors
  • Self-catering holidays in the UK with your own household will be allowed
  • Funerals of up to 30 people. Weddings and wakes of up to 15 people.

Coronavirus York updates; 4th April 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths announced today

Test Results

Four new positive test results today. Brings the cumulative total up to 12,215

Case numbers in the City are up by one today from 49 to 50

The rate /100k population figures is now 23.74. It is expected to fall below 20, for the first time since last summer, on Tuesday

Infection rates at regional level are now falling more quickly

Neighbourhoods

Little change today

Vaccinations

Tests

4039 PCR test were conducted during the week ending 30th March 2021

Of these, 1.2% were positive. This is lower than the rate recorded during the previous period (1.3%)

802 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 3rd April

Symptom free testing tomorrow

How with history judge COVID-19?

Where’s Jon Snow when yu need him!

Click to see source

Coronavirus York updates; 3rd April 2021

Deaths

No further hospital deaths announced today

Test Results

Six positive test results today. Brings the cumulative total up to 12,211.

The number of cases in the City has fallen by 12 from 61 yesterday to 49 today.

The case rate /100k population figure has fallen to 23.27.

That is the lowest rate seen since 9th September 2020

Infection rates continue to fall across the region

Neighbourhoods

Only one neighbourhood (Holgate West) now has an infection rate above 50. It is also the only area with a rate above the national average.

Most neighbourhoods now have fewer than 3 cases

Vaccinations

Tests

4231 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 29th March 2021

Of these, 1.3% were positive. That is the lowest percentage seen for over two weeks.

1128 “lateral flow” tests were also carried out on 2nd April 2021

City quiet today

Not many people ventured into the City today on what is usually one of the busiest Saturdays in the year.

Most shops were closed of course, and the weather was cool

Those that did venture out, made their way to the areas near the Minster and the Museum Gardens. The latter was quite busy with some taking the Council’s advice to have a picnic.

LNER seems to have got the message that it needs to promote the empty spaces in its car parks.

The Council on the other hand still stubbornly cordons off a section of the busier Marygate car park in a futile attempt to promote “social distancing”,

New testing centre in Foxwood opens on 12th April

City of York Council is making it even easier for residents and workers in the city to get tested.

Workers in York and residents can benefit from a new testing site set to open soon, along with more opportunities for residents to collect home testing kits.

Foxwood Community centre is the latest symptom-free testing site in the city opening on Monday 12 April. It joins the existing sites at University of York, York St John University and the York Leisure Centre at the York Stadium Leisure Complex. Symptom free tests are available for anyone secondary school or college age and above. Symptom-free tests can be booked at any of York sites online or by calling 01904 551559. 

Each of these testing sites will now act as a collection point for home testing kits by appointment only. A slot can be booked online or by calling 01904 551559 and spaces are available from 7 April. Home tests should not be taken if you are experiencing symptoms and school and college pupils should continue to collect from their education settings.

Residents of any age who have Coronavirus symptoms can book a test online or by calling 119 and self-isolate until receiving results. The symptoms of Coronavirus are a continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell.

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

We all have a part to play in stopping the spread of Coronavirus and helping us along the road back to normal. Getting tested regularly really does make a difference and protects those around you.

“The testing service is a huge city-wide effort and we are always looking at ways to make it easier for people to get tested. By opening more sites and introducing a collection service we hope this further aids our collective efforts to keep our city and each other safe.

“We are grateful to partners for their support as well as to residents who are getting tested regularly.”

Fiona Phillips, Assistant Director of Public Health said:

1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms. Having regular symptom-free tests helps us to identify those who could be spreading the virus unknowingly and protects people.

“We are hugely grateful to those taking regular tests and ask that more do as we continue to move along the roadmap.

“Even if you have had the vaccine we are asking you to get tested to stop you from giving the virus to others. These symptom-free tests are available to anyone secondary school age and above but anyone with symptoms of any age should self-isolate and book a test online or calling 119.

“We all have a part to play in the coming weeks and months. Getting tested regularly and practice hands, face, space will help us beat the virus.”


Why are symptom-free tests important and who should get one?

1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus has no symptoms so you could be spreading COVID to those you love without knowing it.

Getting tested, and self-isolating if necessary, stops the spread of the virus and will help us get back to seeing the people we love and going to the places we love.

We all still need to follow the rules and practice hands, face, space. Testing is another tool in our fight against the virus.

Symptom-free testing is now available to all adults and pupils from secondary school and college age and above.

I’ve had the vaccine, why should I get tested?

Whilst the vaccine reduces the risk of you having serious complications if you catch it, you could still spread Coronavirus to those around you, putting others at risk.

Not everyone has been vaccinated so getting tested regularly will help keep others safe and stop you from spreading the virus to those you love.

My test has come back negative, what can I do after this?

If you receive a negative test result you can continue as you were.

Remember:

  • a negative test result provides information about the level of the virus at one point in time
  • there’s the potential for the test result to be ‘false negative’ if you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t yet have a high enough level of the virus to register on the Lateral Flow Device (LFD)
  • it’s possible to become infected in the hours or days after taking a rapid test – so you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing, good hand hygiene, and practice ‘Hands, Face, Space’
  • this type of testing will only be effective if people continue to follow the guidance
My symptom-free test has come back positive, what should I do next?

If you receive a positive test result you must self-isolate for 10 days. In order to detect the maximum number of cases with variants, the government is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for positive LFD test results in England. Confirmatory tests are used to validate the result of the initial rapid test.
If you get a positive result on your first test you should not go for a second rapid results test – cancel your second test appointment by following the cancellation link in your booking confirmation email.

I have symptoms. Why can’t I use a home testing kit to check?

These tests are provided for those who are symptom-free to get regular tests. There are two testing sites in the city for people with symptoms of Coronavirus, please use them if you need it.

If you have symptoms, the probability of you having Covid is increased.  Given that a home test requires a confirmatory PCR anyway, this way will save you time and use the testing offer for those with symptoms.

My home test came back negative, why do I need to fill in the form?

Completing the form helps us to understand how many people are getting tested in the city and better understand the positivity rate (how much spread there is within a community).

Completing the form no matter the result provides us with valuable information about where we are as a city

Coronavirus York updates; 2nd April 2021

Deaths

One death was announced by the York Hospital Trust today. It occurred on Wednesday and was the first Coronavirus related fatality since 17th March

Test Results

Four positive test results have been announced today. They bring the cumulative total up to 12,205

The number of cases in the City has fallen from 64 yesterday to 61 today

The rate /100k population has fallen to 28.96 today. It is likely to fall below 25.0 tomorrow and should remain there for the following few days at least.

There has been a fall in case numbers in North Yorkshire today and the small but steady decline at regional level is being sustained.

Neighbourhoods

Most neighbourhoods continue to have fewer than 3 cases.

Vaccinations

The vaccination programme is continuing over Easter. The Askham Bar site was busy earlier today

Tests

4406 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 28th March.

Of these, 1.7% were found to be positive. That is the same proportion as the previous day

2297 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 1st April

Council pandemic commentary

The Council has updated is commentary which can be found on open data. It is reproduced below for convenience

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Thursday 01.04.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 28.3.21 there had been 58 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 31.3.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 41.3 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 4,302 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 31.3.21 York has had 12,198 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 5,792 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (6,752) and regional (6,931) 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 (28.3.21) is Red. This is due to a higher than expected number of cases on two occasions: specimen date 22.3.21 (13 cases) and specimen date 25.3.21 (15 cases). 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 23.3.21 to 29.3.21 in York is 23.3 (using data published on Gov.uk on 31.3.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 20.3.21 to 26.3.21 was 29.9 The national and regional averages at this date were 54.9 and 112.4 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 31.3.21).

• York is currently ranked 29th 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 19.3.21.to 25.3.21, 1 ward (Strensall) has seen a statistically significant fall in rates compared with the 7 day period 13.3.21 to 18.3.21. 1 ward (Westfield) has seen a significant rise in the rate. The remaining wards have shown no significant change. Ward rates currently vary from 0 to 78.1 per 100,000. 5 wards had zero cases in the latest period.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 20.3.21 to 26.3.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 24.2. The national and regional averages were 7.9 and 34.8 respectively.

• As at 29.3.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 0.71%. The national and regional averages are 2.3% and 4.7% respectively.

• As at 29.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.12%. The national and regional averages are 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.

• As at 29.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 2.1%. The national average is 0.9%.

• As at 31.3.21 York University 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 331 on the 19.10.20.

• As at 29.3.21 York St. John reported 3 individuals within the University community who was 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 11,321 confirmed CYC Covid cases have been uploaded into the NHS Test and Trace system and 10,220 of the cases have been completed (90.3%). 26,358 ‘contacts’ have been identified and 19,974 of these have been completed (75.8%). Source: PHE Report.

• Local Tracing of Cases: Between 22.10.20 and 26.3.21, 1,062 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 708 (66.7%) were successful and 354 (33.3%) were unable to be reached via phone or home visit, but guidance leaflets were posted where possible.

Cases in Residential Care Settings

• As at 31.3.21 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 29.3.21 there were 6 children of primary and secondary school age who tested positive across 6 schools.

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 30.3.21 there were 10 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General and Acute beds. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 30.3.21 there were 3 confirmed Covid-19 patients and 0 suspected Covid-19 patient in the Intensive Treatment Unit. The peak number for people in ITU was 19 on 10.5.20.

• As at 30.3.21 there had been 0 patients admitted with suspected Covid-19 and 0 with confirmed Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

• As at 30.3.21 there had been 3 confirmed patients discharged with COVID-19 in last 24 hours.

• Between 22.3.21 and 28.3.21, 12 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 26.3.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.8 to 1.0. The previous estimate was (0.7 to 0.9) on 19.3.21.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 30.3.21 a total of 92,113 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine. This represents 43.7% of the estimated total population of York and 52.9% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.

• As at 30.3.21 a total of 9,857 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine. This represents 4.7% of the estimated total population of York and 5.7% 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 11: 13.3.21 to 19.3.21) 2 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. In weeks 8, 9 and 10 there had been 6, 6 and 3 deaths respectively.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 19th March 2021 and registered up to 27th March 2021, 386 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (226 in hospital, 131 in care homes, 21 at home and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 183.3 which is lower than the national average of 227.7

• Local Registrar data (Cumulative): Since the start of the pandemic (using data for deaths occurring up to 17.3.21), a cumulative total of 369 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 82.3, with an age range of 44-104. The age profile of those dying in York is older than the national average (79.9% of those who died in York were aged 75+ compared with 73.2% nationally). 178 of the 369 were male (48.2%), less than the national average (54.3%).

Coronavirus York updates; 1st April 2021

Deaths

No further COVID-19 deaths at the York hospital were announced today

Test results

Three additional positive test results were announced today. They bring the cumulative case total to 12,201

The number of cases has increased from 63 to 64 today.

The infection rate per 100k population figure has edged up to 30.39 today. However it is now on course to fall below the 25.0 benchmark over the weekend.

Infection rates at all levels across the country have remained fairly stable today

Neighbourhoods

Little change today at neighbourhood level with most areas now having fewer than 3 cases.

We may next week – if the expected decline in case numbers continues – have to introduce exception reporting (listing only those neighbourhoods with over 3 cases). The government stats feed doesn’t list the case numbers by neighbourhood where they are below 3.

Vaccinations

Updated vaccination figures by neighbourhood have been published, They cover the period up to 28th March

+NB. Populations vary in different neighbourhoods

As at 30th March 52,9% (92,113) of the City’s adult population had received their first vaccination and a further 5.70% (9,857) had been given their second jab

Tests

4429 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 27th March 2021.

Of these, 1.7% were positive. That is slightly more than the 1.6% found the previous day.

In addition, 2866 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 31st March 2021

York Hospital Trust COVID-19 patient numbers

Lockdown eases with mixed results

Good weather over the last couple of days, coupled with an easing of lockdown restrictions, has encouraged people to get out and about.

The golf courses have been busy while beauty spots have also attracted crowds.

However, it has been a mixed picture with anti social behaviour an issue in some parts of the City, litter has accumulated on some parks and fly tipping remains a problem.

The authorities will need to be proactive in managing the next stage of the lockdown exit which is scheduled to take place from 12th April. Any spike in visitor numbers to York could be difficult to control and might prompt an increase in COVID-19 case numbers

Police Covid response:

Plea to be extremely careful this Easter – “We have come too far and made too many sacrifices for this effort to be wasted now”

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham is the silver commander for North Yorkshire Police’s response to the pandemic. These are her comments about the past week’s (22-28 March 2021) Covid-19 related issues, including details around Step 1 of the Government’s Road Map Out Of Lockdown…

From Monday 29 March, as part of the new health protection regulations known as the Steps Regulationsthere is no longer any restriction on leaving home without a reasonable excuse. The “stay at home” rule has come to an end.

This means the police’s role in helping to tackle the public health crisis has become much more focused on the revised restrictions around indoor and outdoor gatherings.

For indoor gatherings, the regulations remain the same with only members of the same household allowed to be together, subject to some exceptions including support bubbles and providing care.

Our overriding message is that households still must not mix – there remains a high-risk of infection and we must do all we can to avoid community transmission of the virus.

Outdoor gatherings are governed by “the rule of six” or two households, and these can take place in public spaces and in private gardens with social distancing rules remaining in place.

There are a number of exceptions that we have to take into consideration, including the fact that two households may comfortably exceed six peopleand that linked-households – for the purposes of providing care and support – only count as one household.

Clearly, the continued “4 Es” approach of the police – to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce as a last resort – is vital to help our officers and PCSOs determine whether or not there has been a breach of the regulations.

At this stage, restrictions on businesses remain the same. It is expected that these will begin to be relaxed from 12 April, subject to the Government’s conditions being met including the continued reduction in infections and the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme. North Yorkshire Police will continue to support our local authority, licensing and trading standards partners to ensure businesses comply with the regulations at each step.

International Travel Restrictions are also in place. This means holidaying abroad is not allowed until at least 17 May when it will be reviewed by the Government. An enhanced fixed penalty notice of £5,000 is linked to this breach.

Travel…

With regards to travelling within the country and county, people must minimize travel to reduce the risk of infection. This will be subject to change as part of the roadmap out of lockdown, but not until 12 April at the earliest.

The Government has not defined a distance that would constitute a breach of the regulations, so it is down to each and every person to make a judgement call about if a journey is absolutely necessary and the risks it poses in the context of the public health crisis that we are still facing.

From a policing point of view, we will keep using the “4 Es” approach to engage, explain the regulations, encourage compliance and enforce if there is blatant disregard to the regulations.

Easter holidays…

When it is safe to do so, we will welcome visitors to the county again. However, everyone can expect to see an increased policing presence as we work alongside our partners to help keep the virus at bay in the weeks and months ahead.

Our plea to everyone this Easter is to be extremely careful and to keep following the regulations until it is safe to resume a more normal way of living – we have come too far and made too many sacrifices for this effort to be wasted now.

Latest enforcement data

During the past seven days (22-28 March 2021) we have issued 170 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) – the previous week’s total was 149.

This takes the total to1,980 FPNs during the third lockdown, and3,876 FPNs since the first lockdown on March 2020.

  • 82 were issued to local people and 88 were issued to visitors
  • 80 issued for being outside place of living
  • 11 for outdoor gatherings
  • 76 for indoor gatherings
  • for obstruct/contravene/fail to close business
  • for gathering of more than 15

Broken down into districts, the number of FPNs issues are as follows:

Craven – 0

Hambleton – 20

Harrogate – 23

Richmond – 0

Ryedale – 1

Scarborough – 89

Selby – 3

York – 34

*No notable cases have been brought to our attention this week.

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.”

Coronavirus York updates; 30th March 2021

Deaths

The have been no further hospital deaths today. It is now 13 days since the last COVID fatality was announced by the York Hospital Trust

Test results

Three additional positive test results were announced today. Brings the cumulative total up to 12,193

Case numbers in the City are up from 62 yesterday to 67 today. They are expected to fall to around 63 tomorrow.

The rate per 100k population figure climbs to 31.8. The rate has been stable at around 30 since the middle of the month. It is expected to remain at around that level at least until Easter.

Infection rates in North Yorkshire have spiked again and rate continues to grow steadily across the region as a whole

Neighbourhoods

Case numbers in Holgate East are now falling while those in Holgate West are rising! Overall there is little change

Vaccinations

Tests

4467 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 25th March 2021

Of these, 1.8% were positive. That is the fifth successive day on which increased infection rates have been found.

693 “lateral flow” test were also conducted on 29th March

Hospital

The York Hospital Trust is now treating fewer COVID patients