Coronavirus York updates; 6th October 2020

Deaths and test results

First COVID death at York Hospital for several months announced today.

No further fatalities elsewhere in the City including care homes.

116 (ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN) additional cases announced today bringing total to 1699

Friday 2nd October now officially the worst day for new infections with a total of 71.

Sunday (4th) also saw 62 new cases.

Situation now worse than during spring with infection rates still rising.

Hardest hit neighbourhoods during last 7 days Heslington/University/Fulford, The Groves/Heworth South & Holgate East.

Government announcement on further restrictions expected imminently

46 students at York St John University are reported to be self isolating

Coronavirus York updates; 5th October 2020

Deaths and test results

A further 76 (SEVENTYSIX) positive test results in the City have been announced today. That takes the cumulative total to 1583

Although the figures still include some retrospective number changes, the vast majority of new cases were tested last week.

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Thursday 1st October, with 62 new cases, was the highest single day figure seen since the beginning of the pandemic in January.

The scale of the second wave case numbers now significantly exceeds what was seen in April and May.

The first wave peaked on 8th May when the 7 day case numbers per 100,000 population figure was 80.24.

Last Fridays (2/10/20) equivalent figure was 143.87.

The government has admitted that the cases, which are only now appearing in the stats, hadn’t been passed on promptly to the test and trace service. However, the individuals concerned had been given their results and advised to self isolate. There may be implications for the infection rate over the next couple of weeks.

There have been no additional deaths at the hospital. According to media reports, there are currently 26 patients with COVID in York hospital. The number is slowly rising.

7.55 per cent of people tested in York get a positive result – higher than the national rate.

In the past 14 days 34 cases have been linked to care homes and 30 cases linked to schools.

The University of York currently has 72 active coronavirus cases – linked to household transmission rather than teaching groups. York St John had less than 25 cases at the end of last week.

The hardest hit neighbourhoods over the last 7 days have been Holgate East and Fulford/Heslington/University. For the first time there have been at least 3 cases in every York neighbourhood

Coronavirus York updates; 4th October 2020

Deaths and test results

There have been an additional ONE HUNDRED & NINE positive test results announced today bringing the cumulative total to 1507.

As revealed yesterday, the government web site admitted that it had not included all positive test results recorded over the last 10 days. It is now retrospectively adding in the figures to those previously announced.

The revised figures mean that, with 51 positive test results now announced, Monday 28th September had the highest number of new cases recorded since the pandemic started.

The second wave of cases is now increasing quicker than the rate we saw in the spring. However, there have been more tests carried out in recent weeks. and mass testing only started at the beginning of May.

Nevertheless there will be concerns that decisions taken in recent days, about the scale and nature of the response required, may have been based on incomplete and inaccurate data. It seems inevitable now that the restrictions on inter household contacts, introduced in parts of the North East a last week, will be extended to York.

There have been no additional hospital deaths

The worst affected neighbourhood during the last 7 days has been Poppleton/Rufforth/Askhams.

No additional information has been provided on the characteristics of the positive cases (and their contacts). Consequently the linkages between the cases are not widely understood.

There has been no update on hospital bed capacity and use.

Coronavirus York updates; 3rd October 2020

Deaths and test results

Late on Saturday evening the government issued a statement on their COVID monitoring web suite (click) which says ;

Due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved, there has been a delay in publishing a number of COVID-19 cases to the dashboard in England. This means the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between 24 September and 1 October, increasing the number of cases reported.

This has affected the York figures. In total an additional FOURTYSIX positive test results were announced for the City today. This brings the cumulative total to 1398.

The tables below have been updated to reflect the new figures.

The 38 cases recorded on 28th September is the second highest single day figure this year (There were 50 cases on 29th April)

The incidence of cases per 100,000 population has reached 79.3 (which has been a figure which has resulted in other areas being added to the governments “watch list”).

There have been no additional hospital deaths

The worst affected neighbourhood during the last 7 days has been Clifton Without/Skelton

Coronavirus York updates; 2nd October 2020

Deaths and test results

There have been EIGHTEEN additional positive test results announced today bringing the cumulative total to 1352.

There have been no additional hospital deaths

The worst affected neighbourhoods over the last 7 days have been Clifton Without/Skelton and Poppleton/Rufforth/Askhams

Council commentary updated

The York Councils commentary on the crisis has been updated on the “open data” website

It is reproduced below (NB The clarity of the report has been improved this week but still lacks hospital capacity data)

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 2.10.20. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways /111 triages – as at 28.9.20 there had been 433 total covid triages in the CYC area in the last 7 days. The numbers have just started to fall in the last few days after a very steep rise over the previous 2-3 weeks with a peak of 653 triages in the 7 day period to 20.9.20.

• As at 1.10.20, the Covid Symptom App estimates 483.9 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 5,302 people). This represents the second daily fall in the prevalence estimate after a month where the figures rose each day.

Diagnosed cases (Pillar 1&2 combined)

• As at 1.10.20 York has had 1,334 cases, a rate of 633.4 per 100,000 of population. The rate in York is lower than national (699.9) and regional (925.9) 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 no. of new cases is worsening. The latest rating for York (28.9.20) is Green.

• The provisional rate for the last seven days of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population in York as at 29.9.20 is 62.20. The latest local “validated” 7 day rate at 25.9.20 was 57.6. The national and regional averages at this date were 59.6 and 84.1 respectively

• As at 28.9.20, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 only) was 5.21% (161 positives out of 3,092 tests). The national and regional averages are 4.4 % and 6.0% respectively. The number of Pillar 2 tests being carried out in York is increasing.

Contact Tracing

• Since 28.5.20 a total of 475 laboratory confirmed CYC Covid cases have been uploaded into the NHS Test and Trace system and 377 of the cases have been engaged. 1,295 ‘contacts’ have been identified and 842 of these have been traced.

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 provides a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS weekly data: For deaths occurring up to 18th September 2020 and registered up to 26th September 2020, 172 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (83 in hospital, 77 in care homes, 9 at home and 3 in a hospice. The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 81.66 which is lower than the national average of 88.74. The most recent death reported for a York resident was in week 38 (12 to 18 September).

• ‘Excess’ deaths (ONS). In week 38 (12 Sept to 18 Sept), 25 deaths occurred in York, which is 5 fewer than the average weekly number for 2014-18. Over the last 17 weeks the total number of deaths in York has been 47 fewer than the average for the equivalent weeks in 2014-18.

• Local Registrar data: In the weekly data received on 28.9.20 (for deaths occurring up to 23.9.20), a cumulative total of 163 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 82.5, with an age range of 53-104. The age profile of those dying in York is slightly older than the national average. 87 of the 163 were male (53.4%), slightly less than the national average (55.1%). 81 of the deaths occurred in hospital and 82 were community deaths (e.g. at home or in a care home or hospice). 71 people (43.6%) died in nursing /care homes (the national average is 29.49%). In addition 13 people (8%) 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, 58.1% of COVID-19 deaths occurring at York Hospital have been CYC residents. (NB NHS Trusts record deaths following a positive covid-19 test (within 28 days) 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 1.10.20, 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.

New testing site

The Council and government have issued the following media release.

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility is to open for those with symptoms to book appointments at Wentworth Way Car Park, the University of York, in York.

This is as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

Testing is available only for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. From the start of the pandemic, testing has been prioritised for the most vulnerable, including patients in clinical settings and care home residents, vital health and care staff and to manage outbreaks.

The new site is situated so as to be easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

Testing at the new site has started, with appointments made available each day.

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now comprises 76 drive-through sites, 133 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.

There follows a series of quotes from the great, the good and the not so good!

Bus shelters getting a coat of paint

Good to see some of the Councils bus shelters getting a much needed coat of paint. In contrast to the advertising shelters – which are generally kept clean and safe – many of the Councils shelters are dirty and neglected.

Some are overgrown with weeds and hedges.

Askham Lane bus shelter

Shelters are an important factor in making public transport an attractive option for travellers. They should be cleaned and repaired regularly

Coronavirus York updates; 1st October 2020

Deaths and test results

TWENTYFIVE additional positive test results announced today. That brings the cumulative total to 1334.

The 33 cases recorded on Monday 28th September where the third highest for a single day (29th April – 50 cases, 5th May – 35 cases).

The rolling 7 day incidence per 100,000 population figure reached 65 this week.

There have been no further hospital deaths

The worst affected neighbourhoods have been Clifton Without/Skelton & Fulford/Heslington/University

Coronavirus York updates; 30th September 2020

Deaths and test results

It looks like York is heading for a new lockdown following the announcement today of 35 new positive test results. That brings the cumulative total number of cases to 1309.

The figures mean that we are now seeing over 50 cases per 100,000 head of population each week. This is the intervention level set by the government after which additional restrictions are implemented.

The most likely restrictions will be similar to those imposed in West Yorkshire. There, contact is banned between people from different households.

There have been no additional hospital deaths announced today

The worst affected neighbourhoods in York are Bishopthorpe/Copmanthorpe and Clifton Without/Skelton

Lots of questions to be answered

UPDATE; The urgent control board meeting has taken place it can be viewed on line via the Council web site (click below)

One or two pieces of new information did emerge at the meeting. There are now 10 beds occupied at the York hospital by COVID patients. This is still many fewer than the numbers seen in May but is gradually increasing.

Impact on hospital capacity

Although probably not a surprise to many, the demographics of the second wave suggest that it is under 30’s who are most affected

Age groups of recent positive tests

The meeting was told

  • The last national seven day rate showed that as of 27 September York has 46 cases per 100,000 population, which on average is 14 new cases every day. There is usually a time lag in what is reported nationally and we will soon show a rate of 52. The national and regional averages are 49.7 and 70.3 respectively.
  • The latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 only) was 3.61%. The national and regional averages are 3.8% and 4.6% respectively.
  • In the two weeks up until 21 September, almost every area in York had positive COVID cases reported.  No area has had over ten cases in the period of a week, which shows that transmission isn’t confined to particular parts of the city.

EARLIER The Councils COVID management board meets later today. Little update information  has been issued in advance of the meeting (click)

We know that the number of cases in the City is rising rapidly. Fatalities are also now occurring again. Such information is in the public domain courtesy only of central government web sites.

Analyses of the situation in York is anecdotal at the best

The Public Health Officer uses Facebook to say that most infections occur because of home visits by family and friends. Public contact is less of an issue apparently.

But no figures are offered to back up this assertion.

How many, when, where? All are key questions on the lips of residents.

We only know that there have been 2 recent COVID deaths in care homes. No further details have been provided

“Sources” at St Johns University say that over a dozen students have symptoms. York University says that case number are low. Both institutions say they have difficulty getting tests completed. So, do they really know the scale of their problems?

We now know that a drop in testing centre for York University students will open tomorrow in a segregated and managed area in the Wentworth Way car park. The facility will open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, on an appointment-only basis from tomorrow (Thursday). Tests can be booked using the NHS Covid-19 App, the NHS website or by telephoning 119.

The position for permanent York residents remains unclear.

We were promised another drop-in test centre. We do not know when, where or even if, it will open? Nor do we know what its capacity will  be.

Where are the weekly test and trace numbers for York? What is the backlog in requests for tests. How quickly are results produced?

The Council apparently has access to the data but doesn’t publish it on its “Open Data” web site. Officials say they have the go ahead for a local test and trace process.  That has been promised for 3 months now and seems to be no nearer to producing verifiable results at neighbourhood level.

Then there is hospital management.

They are not listed on the Outbreak board agenda to be reporting to today’s meeting. Yet the ability of the hospital to deal with the second wave of cases is a key concern for residents.  How many admissions? How many beds occupied? How many in ICU? How many discharges? What spare capacity is available?

Where is the independent challenge to the secrecy culture?

 The executive member, with responsibility for Health issues, has a subterranean profile. There is no campaign for openness from that quarter. The last decision session on health and social care was held on 13th February.

The last Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting was held on 18th February. That is the body which should challenge and question on health concerns.

 A management meeting earlier this week promised that scrutiny committees would shortly start operating again. The health committee has a lot of ground to make up

The Health and Wellbeing Board last met on 30th July. It has no further meetings scheduled.

So, all York residents have available are the occasional anodyne “on line” Q & A session involving self styled  “leaders”.  Yesterday’s Facebook session was typical. It produced nothing new and was distracted by discussion of the so called “devolution” deals being offered to North Yorkshire.

It increasingly appears that the Councils aim is not to “inform” but to “direct”.

Anyone doubting that should look at the one presentation which has been released in advance of today’s meeting. The public relations plan (click) is all about what others should do. It fails to answer the obvious question.

What do residents want to know?

Monk Bar car park taxi shuttle service

The Council will continue the Monk Bar car park taxi shuttle service for the disabled until the new year. The decision was taken “behind closed doors” by a Council official.

Most of the spaces reserved for the disabled at Monk Bar car park have not been used

While the basic principle of the service has been broadly welcomed, critics have blasted the large number (40) of spaces coned off for the service.  This has put pressure on the rest of the car park. Anecdotally it appears that no more than seven spaces have been occupied by disabled drivers at any one time.

No analysis of the demand for space was published before the decision was made. Neither have any details of the number of passengers using the shuttle service been revealed.

The service is costing taxpayers £354 a day in subsidies.

Ambulances in bus lanes

In a less controversial decision, the Council has agreed that liveried ambulances may use bus lanes in future even if they not responding to an emergency call.

Coronavirus York updates; 29th September 2020

Deaths and test results

One additional, COVID related, death has been recorded in the City according to latest government figures. The cumulative total is now 172 fatalities.

There have been no additional hospital deaths announced today.

EIGHTEEN positive test results have been recorded today bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the City to 1272.

The neighbourhoods with the largest number of cases during the last 7 days have been Strensall and Bishopthorpe/Copmanthorpe.

Coronavirus York updates; 28th September 2020

Deaths and test results

There have been EIGHT additional positive test results announced today bringing the cumulative total number of cases to 1254

There have been no additional hospital deaths

Worst affected neighbourhoods over the last 7 days have been Strensall, Bishopthorpe/Copmanthorpe and Rawcliffe/Clifton South

Picture is slightly better today but it is too soon to say whether the slowing in the rate of new cases identified will be sustained.

Council seeks more funding

With the Council continuing to face significant financial challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the council has submitted its submission to the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The submission urges the Government to ‘Back York’ by seizing the opportunities that are unique to the city and drive recovery in the region.

As part of the submission to the Spending Review, the Council has called on the Government to provide additional funding for York, as part of the levelling-up agenda, as well as urge the Government to continue to work with the Council to relocate a Government department to York.

Since the pandemic was declared, City of York Council has prioritised resources to support the most vulnerable in the city, as well as additionally investing over £2 million to create local emergency funds to support the city’s businesses and residents facing financial hardship. However, whilst demand for services has increased, income has considerably fallen, leaving the Council, alongside other local authorities, with an estimated potential budget gap that could be as much as £20 million.

It is clear that to kick-start the economic recovery of the region, there are opportunities unique to York to build back better.  However, with significant financial challenges in Local Government, the Council cannot unlock these opportunities alone. With additional funding, City of York Council could:

  • Make £25 million available to further support local businesses in adapting to the crisis;
  • Enhance York’s world-renowned culture and heritage by making extra funding available to support local museums, libraries and more – in particular, providing urgent financial support to charitable services who have seen visitor income streams significantly reduced;
  • Scale up the support on offer to residents facing financial hardship, particularly through the use of the York Financial Assistance Scheme;
  • Provide much needed funding for small charities and voluntary sector; organisations who do not have the resources to fundraise themselves;
  • Speed up the delivery of critical regeneration projects and citywide infrastructure schemes, from York Central, to the dualling of York Outer Ring Road;
  • Provide certainty of funding within the Adult Social Care sector, which has been under considerable pressure before the pandemic began;
  • Improve support for York’s climate change ambitions (ranging across service areas), so that York continues to be a leader in climate action.

This submission sits alongside other submissions from organisations representing the wider region and local government, including from Yorkshire and the Humber local authorities, the Convention of the North, Transport for the North and the national Local Government Association (LGA).