York well set to bounce back from pandemic

The latest Centre for Cities report gives some hope for York as the City ponders what the post pandemic world might bring for it.

York has a well educated workforce with low pollution levels.

Exam results are the best of any City nationwide.

The City has a relatively low claimant count.

On the other hand a surprisingly low percent of businesses are connected to high speed data networks and many existing jobs are in the public sector.

Click to view data

You can access the full report by clicking here

Coronavirus York updates; 11th November 2020

Deaths and test results

4 (FOUR) more deaths at York Hospital Trust announced today. That is the largest single day announcement of fatalities since the second wave of COVID hit the City. Two fatalities occurred on 8th and two on the 9th November. For source details click here

There were 35 (THIRTY FIVE) additional positive test results announced today. That brings the total to 4228

Overall infection rates are now the lowest they have been for 6 weeks.

Only one neighbourhood (Wigginton) is marginally above the national average.

During the last week, during which time infection rates in the City have reduced, they have increased at the North Yorkshire, Yorkshire and national levels.

York now has one of the lowest infection rates in North Yorkshire. It is also much lower than other urban areas in Yorkshire. Hull now has the highest number of cases.

Centre for City’s view of York economy

The Centre for City’s group have updated their economic modelling work to reflect the latest impact of the lockdown. The figures suggest that York is faring about average when compared to other parts of the country.

Click image to access data

Hospital pressures

More than 450 NHS workers in North Yorkshire are off sick or self-isolating because of coronavirus.

Amanda Bloor, accountable officer for North Yorkshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, told a briefing that the staff shortages are having a “significant impact” on hospitals already under pressure from a surge in virus patients.

The absences come as the region’s main hospitals in Harrogate, Scarborough, York and South Tees are treating almost as many coronavirus patients as the first wave after a 33% jump in admissions in the last week.

On Tuesday, 252 patients were receiving emergency treatment, compared with 302 in spring.

Mrs Bloor told a briefing of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum: “We are seeing an increase in staff absences – there are 450 staff across the main North Yorkshire hospitals absent either with Covid or in self-isolation.

“Marrying that with the seasonal illnesses and absences that we would normally expect, it is having a significant impact on staffing levels.

“All of our trusts have got surge plans that allow them to respond to normal winter pressures but particularly where we are now with the increase in numbers of patients presenting with Covid symptoms.

“We have mutual aid agreements in place between hospitals so that they can support each and we can take a regional view.

“If the numbers do rise significantly that will mean that hospitals can not protect planned care capacity which they are working really hard to do.”

Harrogate Hospital currently has 28 coronavirus patients – an increase of 13 from last week.

York has 56 patients – after 15 were admitted in the last seven days.

South Tees – which is located in Middlesbrough but serves North Yorkshire residents – has the highest figure of 119 – an increase of 15.

It comes as NHS staff are reportedly to get twice-weekly home coronavirus tests as early as next week.

Professor Stephen Powis told the Health Service Journal that all patient-facing staff will receive asymptomatic testing, with tests to be rolled out across 34 hospital trusts and cover “over 250,000 staff”.


The media are reporting that students at York and St John Universities will be encouraged to return home in December. Travel dates will be staggered.

It is unclear whether those wishing to travel on public transport will be required to take one of the new “lateral flow” tests which have been used in a Liverpool pilot, with a turnaround time of under an hour and available for people without symptoms.

It is unlikely that the many foreign students currently studying at the University would be able to return home.

It remains unclear whether the Universities will reopen in January or whether “on line” study will become the new norm.

Back to Tier 1 says MP

Local MP Julian Sturdy has said that York should return to Tier 1 status on 3rd December when the current lockdown period is due to end.

There would be some serious issues to be addressed if the City were to encourage people from high infection areas to visit the City. The spike in September and October can be traced to contacts with people newly arrived in the City.

Now, with infection rates already back to those last seen in September, a strategy aimed at encouraging “locals” to use York shops maybe the safest way forward.

York currently has not yet taken up the offer from the government of “mass testing”.

Visitor spend in City centre increasing

Following on from our story yesterday which plotted how “footfall” was increasing in York an independent organisation has now reported that “spend” is also recovering.

The Centre for Cities” says that York is just outside the national top ten of centres that are doing well.

York has an index of 97. The best is Bournemouth with 117.

Larger Cities like London and Manchester are doing less well.

Coronavirus York updates; 21st August 2020

Deaths and test results

There has been one additional positive coronavirus test result in York. This brings the cumulative total to 947.

There have been no further hospital deaths

York Council commentary on COVID trends revised

The Council has updated its Open Data commentary

The situation is now rated as RED. This is the most serious of the three gradings available. It reflects the 6 additional cases revealed on 16th August.

There is still no comment from the authorities about the location and background of the new cases announced yesterday .

The Council commentary says

2DIAGNOSED CASES (Pillar 1 and 2 combined)

• As at 20.8.20 York has had 946 cases, a rate of 449.2 per 100,000 of population. The rate in York is lower than national (494.9) and regional (631) averages. The most recent cases in York had a test specimen date of 16.8.20 (6 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 (17.8.20) is Red. The rating was triggered by a higher than ‘expected’ number of cases per 100 tests twice in the last 14 days (3 cases with a specimen date of 9.8.20 and 6 cases with a specimen date of 16.8.20). 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 14.8.20 and covering the week up to 11.8.20, 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 57th out of 150 local authorities (with 1 being the lowest rate).

• The latest validated 7 day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population for York is 3.8 (10 cases). This is for the 7 day period up to 14.8.20. This excludes cases with a sample date in the last few days due to partial data and lags in reporting. The rate in York is lower than national (12.2) and regional (20.3) averages.

• As at 18.8.20, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 only) was 0.64% (11 positives out of 1,710 tests). The positivity rate in York is lower than national (1.2%) and regional (1.7%) 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 7th August 2020 and registered up to 15th August 2020, 171 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (83 in hospital, 76 in care homes, 9 at home and 3 in a hospice. The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 81.19 which is lower than the national average of 87.62.

• ‘Excess’ deaths (ONS). In week 32 (1 August to 7 August), 30 deaths occurred in York, which is 1 more than the average weekly number for 2014-18. Over the last 11 weeks the total number of deaths in York has been 37 fewer than the average for the equivalent weeks in 2014-18.

• Local Registrar data: In the weekly data received on 17.8.20 (for deaths occurring up to 12.8.20), a cumulative total of 162 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 82.47, with an age range of 53-104. The age profile of those dying in York is slightly older than the national average. 86 of the 162 were male (53.1%), slightly less than the national average (55%). 81 of the deaths occurred in hospital and 81 were community deaths (e.g. at home or in a care home or hospice). 70 people (43.2%) died in nursing /care homes (the national average is 29.6%). 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, 58.5% 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 20.8.20, 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.

High Street recovery

The Centre for Cities website has published figures today which give a contrasting appraisal of how well York is recovering economically from the pandemic.

It claims footfall has recovered to 75% of pre COVID levels. However this puts York in the bottom 10 of cities nationwide. Blackpool (!) tops the list at 130% with London at a lowly 28%.

The site describes York’s recovery as “moderately strong”

York is above average on the “spend” index.

Weekend visitor numbers have recovered strongly

The site says that visitors to the City centre are still predominately from outside York.

Live Q&A to discuss options for school leavers

Join the next live #AskTheLeaders Live Q&A on the council’s Facebook page this Tuesday 25 August at 5-6pm.

The panel will discuss your questions and comments about further education and career options for people leaving school this year.

This question and answer session is the latest in a series that will discuss your questions, with a special focus on the next steps for young people who have finished secondary school this year following the announcement of their GCSE grades.

Residents are invited to watch live on Facebook to hear from:

  • Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities
  • Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education
  • Lee Probert, Chief Executive and Principal, York College
  • Sandra Burnhill, Vice-Principal, Askham Bryan College
  • Laurence Beardmore, managing director York Coffee Emporium and Vice President, York & North Yorkshire Chamber
  • Louisa Dobson, Louisa Dobson Outreach Hub Officer FutureHY York and North Yorkshire
  • John Thompson, Head of Secondary and Skills, City of York Council
  • Bob Watmore, York Apprenticeship Hub, City of York council

How can I get involved?

Students, parents and carers can interact with the session by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them to YourQuestions@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: Residents 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).

Some encouraging comparisons for York in new City study

York now has the highest employment rate of any City in the north of England or Scotland. It also has one of the lowest claimant (benefit) rates.

York has a relatively small proportion of jobs in employment sectors which are expected to shrink in size over the next few years.

These include sales assistants and retail cashiers,other administrative occupations, customer service occupations, administrative occupations: finance and elementary storage occupations. A century ago the most vulnerable occupations were forecast (correctly) to be domestic indoor servants.

Th news is contained in a new report published by the “Centre for Cities”.

The report can be read by clicking here

York tends to be average to better than average on most tests applied by the study.

It fares well on the number of residents with high level qualifications having 42.7% compared to the UK average of  38.0%

Perhaps more surprisingly York does’t yet feature in the top 10 of City’s with ultra fast broadband access while housing remains more affordable than in many southern cities.