Coronavirus York updates; 20th March 2021

Deaths

The have been no more COVID-19 hospital deaths announced today.

Test results

Eight additional positive test results today. Brings cumulative total to 12,197

The number of cases drops by eleven from 81 to 70.

Rate /100k population has fallen to 33.24. A small further reduction is expected before the rate stabilises for a couple of days early next week.

Infection rates at county and regional level still increasing

Neighbourhoods

Only one neighbourhood now with more than 5 cases (Heworth South/The Groves). 20 areas now below national infection rate.

Vaccinations

A record number of vaccinations were completed yesterday. 50% of the adult population has now been immunised

Tests

3986 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 15th March 2021

Of these, 1.3% were positive. That is less than the 1.4% positivity rate recorded on the previous day

1768 “lateral flow” tests were also completed on the 19th March

“Stay safe and follow the guidance this weekend”

The York Council issued the following statement yesterday (Friday)

As the weekend begins, city leaders are thanking residents for their continued efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

They are also asking everyone to continue to follow the current Public Health guidance and lockdown restrictions to keep our loved ones safe.

The latest figures for vaccination numbers, and case numbers, in York are:

  • As at 17.3.21, 79,375 CYC residents had received the first dose and 5,724 had received both doses.
  • The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 7.3.21 to 13.3.21 was 42.3. The national and regional averages at this date were 58.3 and 107.6 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 18.3.21).

With case numbers in the city decreasing, many residents will be looking forward to the planned changes in the roadmap plan, and the lifting of some of the current restrictions. To stop the spread of the virus, and keep the people of York safe, it is essential that the current guidance is followed.

These include:

  • Stay local and do not travel outside of your local area unless for essential reasons
  • Wash your hands, wear a face covering and maintain a 2m distance from others
  • You can enjoy your daily exercise as a household, but do not mix with people outside your support bubble

Residents looking for ways to enjoy the city safely with their household or alone with one person they do not live with, can visit the iTravel website and download a family-friendly illustrated map in the new Exploring York walking maps collection from their website.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

It is encouraging to see the number of residents who have had their first dose of the vaccine.

“The Nimbuscare-led vaccination site has now administered over 100,000 jabs and I want to pay tribute to all the volunteers and staff who have made this possible. We are aware though that some people are yet to have their first jab and who are eligible. The Council and its partners are looking at ways we can help our communities to help those eligible to get the vaccine as soon as they can.”

“Whilst many of us are looking forward to a time where we can see our friends and families safely, it is more important than ever that we continue to follow the rules. As we get closer to potential milestones in the Government’s Roadmap, we must not be complacent and continue to follow public health guidance to stop the spread of the virus. If we continue to working together in this effort, we can expect to safely enjoy our city once again.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health said:

We continue to be grateful for the efforts of everyone in stopping the spread of the virus. Our collective efforts are making a difference and saving lives, so let’s keep going.

“Thanks too must go to everyone having the vaccine and those making it possible. Each jab in the arm takes us closer to where we want to get to. We can’t change our behaviours just yet though. Whilst having the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of serious illness from Coronavirus, people can still catch and spread the virus. Hands, Face, Space remains vital as ever for us all.”

“We are still keen to see cases fall further, we cannot afford to be complacent yet so please keep going with Hands, Face, Space. Every time you wear a face covering or video call a friend or family member has an impact so thank you. I would strongly encourage anyone eligible to take up the offer of regular symptom-free testing, or carry out home testing, as an important way to stop the spread of the virus.”

Coronavirus York updates; 19th March 2021

Deaths

Two additional hospital deaths have been announced by the York Hospital Trust today. One occurred on Tuesday and one on Wednesday

Test Results

Five positive test results today bringing the cumulative total to 12,099.

The number of cases in the City has fallen by 8 from 89 to 81. Further reductions are in the pipeline

The rate /100k population figure has fallen to 38.46. This is the lowest seen in the City since 19th September 2021

The infection rate is clearly now following a different trajectory from that seen when restrictions were eased at the end of Lockdown 2. The real test will come on 12th April when a more general easing of restrictions are expected

Infection rates are continuing to rise at North Yorkshire and Yorkshire levels. They are stable at a national level.

Neighbourhoods

Good news today as, for the first time since last summer, no York neighbourhood has an infection rate above 100.

Vaccinations

Good progress with vaccinations

Tests

3977 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 14th March 2021

The positivity rate was 1.4% – the same as the previous day.

3100 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 18th March 2021

Hospitals

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated by the York Hospital Trust has fallen to 30. Four are in intensive care. 2069 patients have been treated for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic and subsequently discharged from hospital.

Council commentary

The York Council has updated its commentary on the pandemic

It is reproduced below

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 19.03.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 15.3.21 there had been 74 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 18.3.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 87.3 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 4,459 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 18.3.21 York has had 12,094 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 5,742 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (6,656) and regional (6,735) 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 (15.3.21) is Green.

• The provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 10.3.21 to 16.3.21 in York is 31.8 (using data published on Gov.uk on 18.3.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 7.3.21 to 13.3.21 was 42.3. The national and regional averages at this date were 58.3 and 107.6 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 18.3.21).

• York is currently ranked 61st 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 6.3.21.to 12.3.21, 1 ward in York (Micklegate) has seen a statistically significant fall in rates compared with the 7 day period 27.2.21 to 5.3.21. 2 wards (Dringhouses and Woodthorpe and Hull Road) have seen a significant rise in rates. For the remaining wards there has been no significant change in rates.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 7.3.21 to 13.3.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 6.1. The national and regional averages were 28.0 and 41.9 respectively.

• As at 15.3.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 1.28%. The national and regional averages are 2.6% and 5.1% respectively.

• As at 15.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.16%. The national and regional averages are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

• As at 16.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 0.9%. The national average is 1.4%.

• As at 18.3.21 York University reported 10 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 15.3.21 York St. John reported 1 individual 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 11,229 confirmed CYC Covid cases have been uploaded into the NHS Test and Trace system and 10,126 of the cases have been completed (90.2%). 26,095 ‘contacts’ have been identified and 19,760 of these have been completed (75.7%). Source: PHE Report.

• Local Tracing of Cases: Between 22.10.20 and 12.3.21, 981 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 632 (64.4%) were successful and 349 (35.6%) were unable to be reached via phone or home visit, but guidance leaflets were posted where possible.

Cases in Residential Care Settings

• As at 18.3.21 there was 1 care home 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 was reported by PHE on 25.2.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 15.3.21 there were 22 children of primary and secondary school age who tested positive across 10 schools.

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 17.3.21 there were 17 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General and Acute beds. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 17.3.21 there were 5 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 17.3.21 there had been 0 patients admitted with suspected Covid-19 and 0 with confirmed Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

• As at 17.3.21 there had been 1 confirmed patient discharged with COVID-19 in last 24 hours.

Covid Patients (CYC Residents) discharged from York Hospital

• Between 8.3.21 and 14.3.21, 9 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 12.3.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.7 to 0.9. The previous estimate was (0.7 to 1.0) on 5.3.21.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 17.3.21 79,375 CYC residents had received the first dose and 5,724 had received both doses. 37.7% of the total estimated population of York (210,618*) had therefore received the first dose.

• As at 17.3.21 21.88M In people in England had received the first dose and 1.31M had received both doses. 38.9% of the total estimated population of England (56,286,961*) had therefore received the first dose.

*using Mid-Year 2019 population estimates

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 9: 27.2.21 to 5.3.21) 4 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. In weeks 6, 7 and 8 there had been 11, 19 and 6 deaths respectively.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 5th March 2021 and registered up to 13th March 2021, 378 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (220 in hospital, 129 in care homes, 21 at home and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 179.5 which is lower than the national average of 223.5

• Local Registrar data (Cumulative): Since the start of the pandemic (using data for deaths occurring up to 10.3.21), a cumulative total of 365 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 (80.3% of those who died in York were aged 75+ compared with 73.4% nationally). 174 of the 365 were male (47.7%), less than the national average (54.3%).

Council plans to “safely reopen city”

The Council has issued the following statement in advance of a general reopening of facilities including retail on 12th April. More clarity is needed on the availability of testing services.

With infection rates in the rest of the region currently higher than in York, the Council must make representations about what – if any – recreational travel will be permitted.

There are similar questions to be answered by the Universities about their timetable for increased “on campus” learning.

“With the publication of the roadmap to recovery, the City of York Council has started planning to safely reopen the city.

In doing this, the Council will focus on prioritising the health and wellbeing of the residents of York, and supporting the economic recovery of the city.

Public Health guidance will play a key role in all decisions made for the future of the city and the council focus is on protecting residents against the immediate threat of coronavirus.

Learning from reopening activities that took place during summer 2020, when the city enjoyed a large number of visitors and relatively low number of cases, together with recognising challenges from Christmas and that reopening in 2021 is taking place in a different environment, where testing and vaccinations is more the norm.”

Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council, said:

We are working with businesses and organisations across the city to make sure that when the time comes, residents have the confidence to enjoy our city centre safely.

The health and wellbeing of residents and businesses is our immediate focus, and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our beautiful city once restrictions are lifted. We know that York has a lot to offer, and our amazing range of independent businesses are working hard to ensure that their customers can look forward to safe services at their next visit.”

Extra measures introduced in the city will include:

  • The installation of temporary public toilets in the city centre
  • Extending the Covid Support Marshalls programme until the end of June
  • Submitting planning applications required for temporary managed outdoor spaces

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, said:

Whilst many people will be looking forward to the easing of restrictions we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. 

“We want to make sure that York is a safe city for all our residents to enjoy, and we need the support of residents and communities to make that happen. We are working closely with the Public Health England Behavioural science team to iteratively improve how we can keep residents, staff and visitors safe. 

“For now we must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’, comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place, meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. We should get tested when needed and get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.”

To help businesses safely manage outside space and better understand how to keep their consumers and staff safe by prompting COVID-19 safe behaviours, the council are working with Public Health England’s behavioural insight team in the run up to reopening the city.

They will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday 25 March, where the Public Health team will answer questions from businesses. Tickets can be booked online.

Plans to meet York’s post-pandemic skills needs to be considered

Plans to address the skills and training needs of York residents and businesses as they recover from the covid-19 pandemic will be discussed next week at a Decision Session for the Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning (23 March).

Cllr Andrew Waller will be asked to endorse proposals put forward by the city’s Skills and Employment Board* to tackle the immediate impact of the pandemic.

One-year plan: Skills for Employment in York, sets out how the city needs to respond to the changing skills and training needs of the city post-pandemic. The aim is to ensure that residents and businesses have the necessary skills and training support to meet their needs, helping York’s economy to recover, and grow, over the coming years.
The plan builds on a wide range of skills support that has been developed since the early stages of the first lockdown. Skills and education partners across the city have been working together to help people through change; aligning, adapting and communicating the support available to both individuals and businesses.

Skills for Employment in York sets out five shared commitments:
•    York works – skills support for individuals
Supporting those entering, re-entering or displaced from the workforce to re-train or upskill and connect them with good jobs in sustainable and growth sectors.
•    Empowered employers – skills support for businesses
Supporting businesses of all sizes to access national, regional and local skills provision to help them plan, diversify and grow.
•    Pioneering provision – productive partnerships
Working in partnership to make the most of national, regional and local initiatives and adapt local skills provision in response to emerging needs.
•    Education to employment and self-employment – York’s pipeline
Supporting positive progressions for all by preparing those transitioning from education or re-entering the world of work for a culture of lifelong learning and entrepreneurship.  
•    York shares – communicating the offer
Developing a coherent and effective marketing and communications strategy to ensure information advice and guidance is provided at the point of need in a timely and effective way.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said: The economic impact of the pandemic is being felt across many sectors in the city, and some have been severely hit, leading to job losses.

“As York’s employment changes it is vital that support and training is available to help individuals who need it. This includes those joining the workforce from school or college, or who are older and have lost their job and are looking to find a new career. Businesses are looking to get ready for new opportunities, especially with cleaner greener jobs, and we need to make sure the local workforce has the skills needed for this.

“The one year plan is part of a wider ten year strategy which aims to ensure that York, its residents and businesses, are well placed to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“I’d like to thank the city’s Skills and Employment Board for developing the one year plan, and their ongoing work on the ten year skills strategy. Their hard work engaging with businesses, council and skills providers underlines the commitment of partners across the city to supporting York’s future skills and training needs. “

Coronavirus York updates; 18th March 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths announced today

Test Results

Thirteen new positive test results have been recorded today bringing the cumulative total to 12,094.

The number of cases in the City has fallen by 11 from 100 yesterday to 89 today.

The rate /100k population figure has fallen to 42.26. This the lowest figure that we have since 21st September 2020. The rate is expected to fall again tomorrow when it may dip below 40.

Case rates in York have now fallen below those that can be found in North Yorkshire again. Rates at regional and national level are stable

Neighbourhoods

Only one neighbourhood now has an infection rate of over 100 (Strensall)

9 neighbourhoods now have fewer than 3 cases in each. This includes Westfield/Chapelfields/ Foxwood North which has recorded its lowest rate since last summer.

Vaccinations

95% of over 60’s living in York have now been vaccinated. There is little difference in rates at neighbourhood level with the lowest being 80% at Heslington. Fulford and the University (which also now has a very low infection rate).

We understand that the Council will be stepping up its attempts to contact those who have not responded to offers of immunisation jabs.

The inoculators are making good progress with the 50 age groups and seem to be on course to meet their Easter target of offering vaccinations to all over 50’s living in York.

It is thought that vaccination rates for under 50’s may be slower during April as a result of drug shortages.

UK data not available until Friday

Hospitals

The number of COVID-19 cases being treated by the York Hospital Trust has fallen to 34. Five are now being treated in intensive care. At its peak, the Trust was treating 242 patients. 2065 patients have been treated and discharged since the start of the pandemic

Tests

4021 PCR test were carried out in York during the week ending 13th March 2021

Of these 1.4% were positive. This represents an improvement on the 1.5% which were positive on the previous day.

4947 “lateral flow” tests were also carried out on 17th March

Police Coronavirus response: No time to let-up as we head towards Easter holidays

Superintendent Mike Walker (pictured below) is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the pandemic and he chairs the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum. These are his comments about the past week’s (8-14 March 2021) Covid-19-related issues and the policing arrangements for Easter time…

“Together with our partner agencies and the people of York and North Yorkshire, it is imperative that we maintain the collective effort to reduce the infection rate as low as possible while the vaccination programme is rolled-out across the population.

“We can all see that better times are on the horizon, that’s why we must keep going and not allow all the hard work and sacrifice to be undone through complacency.

Superintendent Mike Walker

“We all must keep adhering to the health protection regulations around travel and gatherings, maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport, and keeping our hands as clean as possible.

“From a policing point of view, we will continue to play our part in tackling the public health crisis as we head towards the Easter holidays.

“Each district is on with preparing patrol plans to ensure there are sufficient resources to provide reassurance and continue our ‘4 Es’ approach – to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce if there is no other way of dealing with breaches.

“The patrol plans will obviously reflect any changes in legislation post 29 March as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

“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.

“Also, we expect normal policing demand to increase as the regulations are further relaxed, therefore North Yorkshire Police will utilise the Government’s surge funding provided to ensure we can respond to the public as they would expect.”

Latest enforcement data

During the past seven days (8-14 March 2021) we have issued 102 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) – the previous week’s total was 210.

This takes the total to 1,662 FPNs during the third lockdown, and 3,555 FPNs since the first lockdown on March 2020.

  • 54 were issued to local people and 48 were issued to visitors
  • 40 issued for being outside place of living
  • 10 for outdoor gatherings
  • 29 for indoor gatherings
  • for obstruct/contravene/fail to close business
  • 20 for gathering of more than 15

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

  • Craven – 3
  • Hambleton – 15
  • Harrogate – 12
  • Richmond – 2
  • Ryedale – 5
  • Scarborough – 50
  • Selby – 7
  • York – 8

Notable recent breaches

Scarborough was again the location for the most indoor gatherings with 18 FPNs issued. There were also two separate indoor gatherings in the town over the weekend consisting of more than 15 people – this resulted in 20 FPNs being issued. One occurred at a flat on Pavilion Square following a report of a party at 10.45pm on Saturday (13 March).

Just after 5pm on Saturday, an online report was made to the police that a group of men from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, were drinking together in a hot tub at a lodge in the York area. When officers arrived they initially claimed they were work colleagues staying together in digs, but this proved not to be the case and the five men were issued with FPNs.

At 4.50am on Monday (15 March), a VW Polo car was stopped by officers as it was travelling east on the A64 at Bilbrough. The four occupants from Leeds, two men and two women aged in their late teens and early 20s, states that they were going somewhere to watch the sun rise. They each headed home with FPNs for being outside their place of living.

Also, for being outside their place of living, two men from Hessle, Hull, were issued with FPNs when police spotted their car at the St James Retail Park at Knaresborough at 12.45am on Monday (15 March). They said they were out for a drive to get a McDonald’s meal.

Coronavirus York updates; 17th March 2021

Deaths

There has been one hospital COVID death has been announced today.

It occurred yesterday and is the first recorded since 7th March.

Hospital deaths from COVID are falling across the country as the vaccination programme reduces risks

Test results

Ten additional positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total up to 12.081

The number of cases in the City has fallen by five from 105 to 100.

The rate /100k population has fallen again and is now 47.48. There is a good chance that, when tomorrows figures are confirmed, we will see a record 2021 low infection rate.

While the infection rate in York is now falling again, it is continuing to creep up at county (North Yorkshire) and regional (Yorkshire) levels. It is stable at national (England) level.

Neighbourhoods

Eighteen of York’s 24 neighbourhoods now have infection rates below the national average

Tests

4019 PCR test were conducted in the City during the week ending 12th March 2021

Of these, 1.5% were positive. That is an improvement on the previous days figure of 1.7%

2134 “lateral flow” test were also carried out on 16th March

Council plans

The Council have provided more information on their plans for lateral flow testing over the next few weeks.

With the return of all pupils to school and college, from 8th March the Government introduced Community Collect for school bubbles. This means that anyone with a child at school can access lateral flow tests for the rest of the family (adults) via community collect. In York, this means collection of test kits in the afternoon from the Poppleton Bar drive through site, or the Wentworth Way walk-in site. There is also an option for people to have kits posted to them if they are unable to travel to the collection point.

In future the Council propose to adopt a “dual approach whereby our test centres can offer tests for those that want it, as well as provide community collect for people choosing this route. The test centres can also offer a demonstration of testing, or the ability to answer questions from people wishing to do home testing but requiring more guidance“.

It remains unclear how workers in the retail and hospitality sector will be tested prior to and during the more general lifting of trading restrictions which is expected to occur from 12th April.

There is no update report from local Universities provided for today’s outbreak board meeting (see below). Information is provided on testing at York College and Askham Bryan agricultural college

Vaccinations

Over 100,000 doses of vaccine have now been administered at the Askham Bar centre

As at 14.3.21, 74,887 CYC residents had received the first dose and 3,550 had received both doses

Outbreak Management Board meeting today

Click item for background report

No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

2.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 February 2021 pdf icon PDF 613 KB

3.

Update from the PHE Behavioural Insights Team

4.

Communications and Engagement Update pdf icon PDF 3 MB

5.

Current situation in York pdf icon PDF 431 KB View item 5. as HTML 14 KB

6.

Update on the Covid-19 Vaccination pdf icon PDF 399 KB View item 6. as HTML 7 KB

7.

Lateral Flow Testing Strategy for York pdf icon PDF 133 KB  View item 7. as HTML 17 KB

8.

Verbal Update: Refresh of the Outbreak Control Plan

9.

Update from Sub-Group: Universities and Higher Education Establishments pdf icon PDF 399 KB View item 9. as HTML 11 KB

10.

Items for the Next Agenda

11.

Dates of Future Meetings

12.

Any Other Business

Council to contact trace all positive cases in York

City of York Council will now do all local contact tracing of residents who have tested positive for Coronavirus, working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace.

The council has been working with the national test and trace system so that the council to take over the service fully. The agreement means York’s local public health team will now get in touch to offer advice and local support via contact tracing for all York residents who test positive for Coronavirus. Close contacts will then be followed up by the national system.

Over the past five months, York has been running its own local contact tracing system, in order to contact those people in the city that the national service could not.  This work has meant in York 90.2% of Coronavirus cases are contacted, and it is hoped that this success can be built on moving forward.

Previously the national test and trace system tried to call in the first 24 hours and if they were unsuccessful, they would then pass the details to local contact tracers to support.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

Today’s announcement follows the hard work of our public health team to speak to and support residents who have tested positive in the city, following lobbying efforts from the city’s Outbreak Management Advisory Board.

“People who are contacted will be advised to isolate, and then one of our public health team members will be in contact to discuss support available to them, as well as the details of their close contacts, so this can then be followed up by national test and trace service.

“Our local contact tracing service has already had great success in the city, so it is welcome that we can now get going with contacting all positive cases to check they are ok, offer support and ultimately, help stop the spread of the virus.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health at City of York Council said:

This is exciting news and will mean our highly skilled team can speak to all positive cases and provide the necessary help, whilst identifying close contacts. It also means we can contact people quickly after the test result.

“The service runs seven days a week, with residents being contacted using a local (01904) phone number. Text messages will also be sent to people with mobile phones telling them to expect a call. If this is still unsuccessful, then a home visit will be made, and if no-one is at home, a letter with details of how to contact the team will be delivered to those advised to isolate, following Covid-19 guidelines.

“Please pick up the phone if we get in touch. Our tracers prioritise people’s wellbeing and ensuring they can access any necessary local support. We are hugely grateful to everyone following the guidance and self-isolating when necessary. It does make a difference and save lives and why it is so important to let them know about the local support available as well as identify close contacts to stop the virus from spreading.”

Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:

I congratulate City of York Council for participating in this pilot to further support the collective effort to tackle the spread of the virus and break chains of transmission.

“Our partnership with local authorities has now seen us reach more people than ever before and supporting them to self-isolate, many of whom might otherwise have unknowingly spread the virus to their loved ones.

“Local authorities’ unique knowledge of their communities is invaluable as we work together to stop the spread of the virus, and with the support of the national tracing service their involvement will continue to strengthen our contact tracing work. As we come out of lockdown, the role of tracing and the support for people to self-isolate is ever more important and I am very proud of everything that we are achieving together.”

Coronavirus York updates; 16th March 2021

Deaths

The latest ONS figures for the week ending 5th March confirm that 4 York residents died of coronavirus. Two died in hospital, one at home and one in a care home. The figure represents a reduction when compared to the six fatalities recorded in the previous week.

In total 368 York residents have now succumbed to the virus

There have been no further deaths reported by the York Hospital Trust today. The last fatality occurred on 7th March.

Test results

Seven positive test results were announced today. The cumulative total is now 12,071

The number of cases in the City has fallen from 111 yesterday to 105 today

The rate /100k population has fallen below the 50 threshold to 49.86. We are expecting the rate to continue to decline this week and that it may fall below 40 by the weekend.

While the infection rate in York has fallen today, the rates at county , regional and national level have edged up

Neighbourhoods

16 of York’s 22 neighbourhoods have infection rates below the national average. Further improvements are expected later in the week

Vaccinations

Officials at the Askham Bar site are now forecasting that all over 50’s will have been offered a COVID vaccination before Easter

Tests

4050 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 11th March 2021

Of these 1.7% were positive. That is the same figure as the previous day

3406 “lateral flow” tests wee also carried out on 15th March 2921

Hospitals

The York Hospital Trust is now treating 39 COVID cases. Six are in intensive care. In total, since the start of the pandemic, 2062 COVID patients have been treated and discharged

Outbreak Management Board

A meeting of the COVID-19 management board is taking place tomorrow. Copies of the agenda and background papers should be published before the meeting starts. https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=12423

Coronavirus York updates; 15th March 2021

Deaths

Another day without a hospital death. The last, reported by the York Hospital Trust, occurred on 7th March 2021

Test Results

Twelve positive test results announced today. This brings the total number of infections to 12,064.

The number of cases in the City has remained at 111. There is now a reasonable expectation that the number of cases will fall by around six when tomorrows figures are released.

The rate /100k population has remained steady today at 52.7. The rate is expected to fall below 45 before the end of the week.

There has been an increase in infection rates at both county (North Yorkshire) and regional (Yorkshire) level today. The national figure has remained stable.

Neighbourhoods

There have been no significant changes at neighbourhood level today.

Vaccinations

Tests

4082 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 10th March 2021.

Of these, 1.7% were positive – the same proportion as the previous day.

In addition, 4515 “lateral flow” tests were carried out on 14th March

Coronavirus York updates; 14th March 2021

Deaths

No further hospital deaths today. It is now a week since the last fatality was announced by the York Hospital Trust. It looks like the vaccination programme is producing the desired outcomes.

Test Results

Only 4 positive test results announced today. Brings the cumulative total to 12,052

It will be a few days before this reduction works itself into the confirmed weekly figures.

The number of cases in the week ending 9th March was 111. That is up by 3 from the 108 recorded the previous day.

The rate /100k population figure is 52.7. It should fall below 50 on Tuesday.

Neighbourhoods

As well as the small increase in cases in York, there have been similar minor hikes in North Yorkshire and in the region generally.

The largest number of infections (12) can now be found in Woodthorpe/Acomb Park/Foxwood South. Rates in New Earswick and Strensall are beginning to fall again.

Five neighbourhoods have fewer than 3 cases in each.

Vaccinations

There were a record number of vaccinations completed at both regional and national level yesterday

Tests

4076 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 9th March 2021

Of these, 1.7% were positive. This is the same proportion as the previous day.

1361 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 13th March.

Coronavirus York updates; 13th March 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths announced today. The last fatality at the York Hospital Trust occurred on 7th March.

Test results

Eleven positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total up to 12,048

The number of cases in the City has fallen by 2 from yesterday’s 110 to 108 today.

The rate /110k population figure has fallen slightly to 51.28, It is expected to be stable at around 53 for the next two days before possibly resuming a downward trend around the middle of next week.

Case numbers are stable at county, regional and national level. This suggests that the return to school may have inhibited a further reduction in infection rates.

Neighbourhoods

It is a mixed picture at neighbourhood level, with the largest increase in case numbers (4) being seen in the Woodthorpe/Acomb Park/Foxwood South neighbourhood.

On the other hand, 2 neighbourhoods now have no cases.

Vaccinations

Tests

4160 PCR test were carried out in York during the week ending 8th March.

Of these, 1.7% were positive. This is a reduction on the previous days figure of 1.9%

2677 lateral flow tests were also carried out on 12th March 2021

Infections in school children

The Council has issued a statement (see below) saying that 15,000 COVID tests were carried out on York school pupils between 1st and 7th March.

Subsequently 97% of children returned to school.

The media release doesn’t say how many tests were positive but a separate report published yesterday says

in the 7 days up to 8.3.21 there were 34 children of primary and secondary school age who tested positive.

Widespread testing of secondary school aged children took place prior to the return to school on March 8th.

The majority of children who tested positive were of secondary school age and were picked up as asymptomatic cases through this testing programme“.

34 cases (31%) will have had an impact on the total number of positive test results seen during that period (110).

It may help to explain the recent spike in infection numbers.

The number of cases in the City (7 day rolling average) increased from 96 on the 3rd March to 110 on the 7th March.

The information does emphasise the need for people to take regular COVID tests.

The authorities are under pressure to ensure that anyone planning to reopen their business in April should ensure that all staff are tested on a regular basis.

Council statement

York’s education leaders have thanked parents and pupils for their support in getting all children an young people back to school and college on Monday (8 March).

With one in three people with CPVID not showing any symptoms, all secondary school pupils were advised to get symptom free tests before returning to school.

Just under 15,000 tests were carried out for school pupils in York last week (1-7 March), showing the city’s incredible support for testing.

Attendance in York schools has also been incredibly high, with 97% of all pupils attending on Monday.

Cllr Keith Orrell, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

I know how hard the last few months have been for children, young people and parents and carers, and I’m delighted that our schools and colleges are once again open to all pupils, supporting their social, wellbeing and educational needs.

Symptom free testing is one of the key ways we can reduce the spread of the virus in the city and I’m so pleased that parents and pupils have supported the testing programme in such large numbers. It really will help us to keep schools and colleges open.

I also want to thank everyone in schools and the education and health teams who have worked hard to ensure the systems were in place to allow pupils to access the tests they needed. This has been a huge effort and I am grateful to everyone involved for making sure this happened on time for schools to open for all students on Monday.

I would urge pupils to continue to get their symptom free tests as home testing kits become available next week.”

Coronavirus York updates; 12th March 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths today. The last fatality announced by the York Hospital Trust occurred on 7th March.

Test Results

Eight new positive test results announced today. That is the lowest single day announcement for 6 months.

The number of infections (7 day moving average) has increased by 7; up from 103 yesterday to 110 today

The rate /100k population has increased (as forecast) to 52.23 today. It is expected to remain stable at around that figure for the next 3 days at least.

Although it is disappointing that there has been no sustained reduction in case numbers this week, we have so far avoided the steep increase in infection levels seen when Lockdown 2 ended in December.

Neighbourhoods

Something of a surge today in case numbers in Strensall (+4). That area has tended to be quite volatile

There has been little change in infection rates at county, regional or national level today

Vaccinations

Vaccinations by neighbourhood

Tests

4207 PCR tests were carried out in York during the week ending 7th March 2021.

The proportion that were positive was 1.9%. That represents a small increase on the 1.8% recorded the previous day.

3259 “lateral flow” tests were also carried out on 11th March

Council commentary

The York Council has updated its commentary on the pandemic. It is reproduced below

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 12.03.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 8.3.21 there had been 74 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 11.3.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 85.5 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 4,502 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 11.3.21 York has had 12,029 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 5,711 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (6,598) and regional (6,624) 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 (8.3.21) is Green.

• The provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 3.3.21 to 9.3.21 in York is 52.7 (using data published on Gov.uk on 11.3.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 28.2.21 to 6.3.21 was 48.9. The national and regional averages at this date were 60.3 and 100 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 11.3.21).

• York is currently ranked 63rd 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 27.2.21.to 5.3.21, 2 wards in York (Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Hull Road) have seen a statistically significant fall in rates compared with the 7 day period 20.2.21 to 26.2.21. For the remaining wards there has been no statistically significant change in rates. No wards have seen a significant rise in rates.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 28.2.21 to 6.3.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 22.2. The national and regional averages were 35.2 and 52.9 respectively.

• As at 8.3.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 1.82%. The national and regional averages are 2.7% and 4.7% respectively.

• As at 8.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.22%. The national and regional averages are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

• As at 9.3.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 1.2%. The national average is 1.8%.

• As at 11.3.21 York University reported 6 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 1.3.21 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 11,166 confirmed CYC Covid cases have been uploaded into the NHS Test and Trace system and 10,064 of the cases have been completed (90.1%). 25,923 ‘contacts’ have been identified and 19,627 of these have been completed (75.7%). Source: PHE Report.

• Local Tracing of Cases: Between 22.10.20 and 5.3.21, 953 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 611 (64.1%) were successful and 342 (35.9%) were unable to be reached via phone or home visit, but guidance leaflets were posted where possible.

Cases in Residential Care Settings

• As at 11.3.21 there were 2 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 was reported by PHE on 25.2.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 8.3.21 there were 34 children of primary and secondary school age who tested positive. Widespread testing of secondary school aged children took place prior to the return to school on March 8th. The majority of children who tested positive were of secondary school age and were picked up as asymptomatic cases through this testing programme.

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 10.3.21 there were 26 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General and Acute beds. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 10.3.21 there were 7 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 10.3.21 there had been 0 patients admitted with suspected Covid-19 and 0 with confirmed Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.

• As at 10.3.21 there had been 3 confirmed patients discharged with COVID-19 in last 24 hours.

Covid Patients (CYC Residents) discharged from York Hospital

• Between 1.3.21 and 7.3.21, 16 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 5.3.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.7 to 1.0. The previous estimate was (0.7 to 0.9) on 26.2.21.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 10.3.21 70,334 CYC residents had received the first dose and 3,402 had received both doses. 33.4% of the total estimated population of York (210,618*) had therefore received the first dose.

• As at 10.3.21 19.58M In people in England had received the first dose and 0.93M had received both doses. 34.8% of the total estimated population of England (56,286,961*) had therefore received the first dose.

*using Mid-Year 2019 population estimates

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 8: 19.2.21 to 26.2.21) 6 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (3 in hospital, 2 in a care home and 1 in a hospice). In weeks 5, 6 and 7 there had been 18, 11 and 19 deaths respectively.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 26th February 2021 and registered up to 6th March 2021, 374 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (218 in hospital, 128 in care homes, 20 at home and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 177.6 which is lower than the national average of 220.0

• Local Registrar data (Cumulative): Since the start of the pandemic (using data for deaths occurring up to 3.3.21), a cumulative total of 360 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 (80.3% of those who died in York were aged 75+ compared with 73.5% nationally). 171 of the 360 were male (47.5%), less than the national average (54.3%).

Police enforcement action

North Yorkshire Police have issued their latest COVID-19 enforcement figures. In York the breeches mainly related to indoor gatherings and unauthorised visitors to the City.

Coronavirus updates York: 11th March 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths announced today. There have been no deaths recorded by the York Hospital Trust during the last 3 days.

Test results

Eleven positive test results announced today. Brings the cumulative total cases numbers to 12,029

The number of cases in the City has increased by 7 from the 96 recorded yesterday to todays figure of 103.

As forecast, the case rate /100k population figure has started to creep up. It is 48.91 today and could go as high as 53 by Sunday.

The spike in numbers is not as pronounced as was seen when lockdown 2 ended in December.

Vaccinations

Tests

4184 PCR tests were conducted in York during the week ending 6th March

Of these 1.8% were positive. That is the same proportion as the previous day

3512 “lateral flow” test were also conducted

Hospitals

41 COVID-19 patients are being cared for by the York Hospital Trust (9/3/21)

Eight are in intensive care

Neighbourhoods

The largest increase in case numbers at neighbourhood level has occurred in New Earswick. The area has gone from having one of the lowest infection rates in the City, to having the highest, in only 3 days

For the first time since last summer, the Fulford/Heslington/University neighbourhood has recorded fewer than 3 cases.

It isn’t just York that is seeing a spike in case numbers. The Yorkshire region has crept back above the 100 case rate threshold. Case numbers in North Yorkshire continue to fall.

York reopening plans

The York Council will discuss next week how the City can be safely “reopened” when lockdown restrictions are further eased.

Currently it is hoped that some relaxations will take place on 29th March when the “rule of 6” or two households outdoors will be allowed, (there will be no household mixing indoors), some outdoor sport and leisure facilities will reopen, organised outdoor sport will be allowed (children and adults) and outdoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents) may meet (Travel will be “minimised” and there will be no holidays)

Of more impact for the City economy will be the plans for 12th April (earliest) when changes could include;

  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household groups.
  • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors.
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.
  • Libraries and community centres.
  • Personal care premises (e.g. hairdressers).
  • All retail.
  • Outdoor hospitality.
  • All children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents).
  • Domestic overnight stays (household only).
  • Self-contained accommodation (household only).
  • Funerals (30), wakes, weddings and receptions (15).

Travel will continue to be “minimised” and there will be no international holidays

In response to the changes outlined in phase two above, the Council is proposing

  • To provide temporary public toilets in the city centre during the initial stages of lockdown easing should they be required.
  • Extend the Covid Marshalls until the end of June “to facilitate the Covid-safe management of the city”
  • Deferral of increased fees for cremations and funeral service recording.

The report goes on to say,

At this stage, it is not recommended that the council commits additional
resource to promoting additional visitors to the city. Given the likelihood of varying rates of infection as a result of wider derestriction, the overarching principle has to be the safety of York’s residents and visitors.

A detailed list of the proposed actions can be read by clicking here

There is a proposal for more “managed open spaces” in the City which include additional seating on Parliament Street together with more “street food”. This could be extended (in May) to the Eye of York, College Green, the Minster school grounds and Tower Gardens.