Coronavirus York updates: 16th April 2020

Death toll increases in York

SEVEN more people with coronavirus have died at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust sites. The deaths – the biggest daily rise since the outbreak started –  bring the total number of coronavirus related deaths within the trust to 57 – compared to 50 yesterday. The trust includes York Hospital and Scarborough Hospital.

Call for more transparency from York Council – how many, how much, how quick?

The York Council should publish daily updates “online” giving details of the progress that it is making in dealing with assistance requests.

The proposal comes after the Council issued a media release saying that it had settled £34 million worth of claims for the governments small business support grant.  The claim, contained in a media release from the Council, failed to give details of the value and total number of claims received, the number and value of those processed and the number of claims  where the recipient had confirmed that the money was in their account. There was no indication of the number and value of outstanding claims and how long they were expected to take to process. There was no indication how many claims had been rejected and for what reasons.

There is a similar lack of figures for business loans, rate rebates, hardship payments, food deliveries, rent rebates, ward committee payments, use levels at  the “Hubs” (that the Council set up 3 weeks ago at the governments behest) as well as the volume of work that has been passed to the 3000 volunteers who the Council says it has on its books.

At the moment the Council seems to be focusing on issuing “sound bite” media releases which encourage politicians to put their own “spin” on the figures.

The Council has been criticised for poor communications. A leaflet due to be delivered 3 weeks ago has still not been received by some residents. The information in the leaflet does however duplicate information readily available via radio, TV, social media and local noticeboards.

Now it has emerged that the Council plans 3 separate leaflets delivered from next week using Royal Mail.  The promised “Our City” is still not ready and there is still no “on line” database detailing the doorstep delivery options available in the City – the County Council (which covers a much larger area) has one up and running.

There is little scrutiny of what is going on. There have been no virtual Council meetings although one will have to take place in May to elect a new Lord Mayor. The obvious option of having an “on line” discussion forum has not been taken up. No Q & A  “on line” sessions with the Council leadership are taking place. Some Councillors are not answering Email requests for information.

The Labour opposition on the Council, while indulging is some public hand wringing about “not being political”, is trying to move work and funding to an organisation set up by one of their party officials.

The local Labour MP is playing every issue for maximum personal publicity and political advantage. (In fairness the Outer York MP – a Conservative – has been more circumspect.

We have a continually changing situation.

Things are not “all right”.

They may be as good as could be expected in what is a unique situation.

What people need, and deserve to have, though are up to date facts.

People can then make up their own minds about whether change is needed.

Coronavirus York updates – 15th April 2020

Coronavirus cases and deaths in York

Latest figures from Public Health England show there were 149 confirmed cases in the City of York Council area today compared with 129 yesterday.

There have been an additional 2 deaths at the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Council leaders thank York businesses for their swift PPE response

Council leaders have thanked local organisations after 15 businesses and groups responded to the authority’s request for them to share un-used personal protective equipment (PPE).

Last week, City of York Council appealed to the Government for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), and to local businesses for any spare PPE, so it can be used to support the city’s care workers.  Although the council’s care teams currently have sufficient PPE, stocks nationally are running low, and priority is being given to NHS staff.

Offers of help have come in from some unusual sources, including a local croquet club, a cat café, hairdressers, plasterers, dental practices and nail bars.

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

“I would like to thank local groups and businesses for their incredible response to our call for additional PPE and we are immensely grateful for what you have given us.

“I have made the case to the Government that additional PPE equipment is urgently needed for our adult social care sector and they must provide assurances about ongoing supplies for the weeks ahead.”

“Social care is at the frontline of the Coronavrius outbreak and I know that in York, our staff are doing an incredible job in extremely difficult circumstances. They are, of course, also doing a dangerous job, putting themselves at risk to protect those most vulnerable.  We must prioritise their safety, alongside the safety of those that they are supporting.”

The items of PPE needed are disposable plastic aprons, gloves, black bags, masks, eye protection goggles, alcohol based hand sanitiser and hard surface wipes.

Anyone who thinks they may have useful PPE should email PPE@york.gov.uk

Longer queues at Morrisons Acomb this lunchtime

Long queue out onto Front Street from Morrisons Acomb this lunchtime. The store is usually least busy in the late evening period. There is also a long pipeline now for home deliveries from the store (3 weeks).

Lidl is not busy, nor Sainsburys on Beckfield Lane. Tesco Acomb Wood Drive had a queue of 6.

Sadly still no update from the York Council about the publication of a food & pharmacy home delivery database.

Over £34m Coronavirus business payments set to land in businesses accounts this week

Following the council’s promise to accelerate payments of the Government’s business grants to local businesses, over £34m has been processed by the Council to be paid into business bank accounts.

Council officers have worked throughout the Easter weekend to ensure over 2,500 businesses will receive their payments as quickly as possible. Some businesses may get their payment later in the week, as teams carry out rigorous fraud checks to ensure all the claims are genuine. We will also be contacting businesses who are yet to claim.

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

“Processing these payments and supporting our local businesses is absolutely crucial  and a key priority as part of our coronavirus response.  That is why we have committed to processing these payments faster and Council staff have been working hard over the bank holiday weekend to ensure these payments reach businesses as quickly as possible.

“We know that these payments are vital for York businesses who bring so much to our city. I’m pleased that we will see over £34,000,000 processed and paid to businesses this week and I would encourage any business yet to apply, to visit our website and apply as soon as possible.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, added:

“I would like to thank our teams who have worked tirelessly these past few days to ensure that these payments are ready to be processed as soon as the banks reopened.”

“They have done this whilst ensuring strict checks and balances are met to ensure fraudsters don’t take advantage of this situation.”

“We will continue to prioritise the payment of these grants, so businesses who have been negatively affected by this crisis can be supported.

Since opening applications for the grants the council has received over 3500 applications and has been working to speed up a process which includes government-defined requirements to:

  • collect company information including VAT registration details
  • clear every application through the government’s anti-fraud systems
  • verify bank details and company identity

More on York crematorium

Because of the high risks of spreading Coronavirus (Covid-19), funeral services at York Crematorium have been suspended inside the chapels. This exceptional measure is essential to protect the public, funeral directors and bereavement services staff, and is in line with other local authorities including in West Yorkshire, and the advice given by public health authorities.

Since the guidance was confirmed, the council has released additional details on how Saturday’s decision will be implemented. This means the following options are available to those who have a service planned at the crematorium:

  • close family members will be able to attend the Crematorium and wait for the hearse to arrive. The council will secure a covered space for this purpose
  • the minister/celebrant can spend up to 10 minutes with the family in prayer service and to commit the body outside, depending on faith practice
  • the celebrant/minister can also attend to give a service of 10 minutes within the chapel and we will still provide a short video free of charge for those families who wish for a copy.

Arrangements are also being made to ensure funerals are appropriately scheduled, so that services do not overlap, and that each family group are given plenty of privacy.

The council has also confirmed that on recent discussions with Government officials, the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Communities has confirmed that they are content with the council’s approach, as agreed on the 11 April 2020.

Once the restrictions have lifted, the council will ensure that services of remembrance at York Crematorium will be offered to all families and a city wide multifaith remembrance ceremony will be held, supported by local faith leaders and the council.

In addition to the confirmed changes at York Crematorium, graveside burial services for York residents at Fulford Cemetery are still permissible, as long as families follow the rules in place which limit the number of mourners outside to 10 people, who must at all times observe social distancing.

Following the announcement of unattended cremations, faith groups and the council has confirmed that they will offer a faith officiant present at the crematorium to undertake the committal of the body according to the appropriate religious rites, and that celebrants or a minister can read your words during the private cremation and that this will be recorded for families.

(more…)

Coronavirus York updates – 14th April 2020

Deaths

Six deaths – the biggest daily rise since the outbreak started –  bring the total number of coronavirus related deaths within the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to 48 – compared to 42 the day before.

Local traders

Traders are finding innovative ways of serving customers. Particularly important for small traders selling seasonal items like bedding plants. Sales – and people with time to plant out their borders – have a limited window of opportunity.

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, house and outdoor
131 Askham Lane £2-50 a pot. Card sales.

Coronavirus York updates – 13th April 2020

On line trader site launched by NYCC

The North Yorkshire County Council has launched an on line database of trades and services currently available. https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/buy-local

It is over 3 weeks since the York Council was asked to do the same thing- initially concentrating on those local food and pharmacy businesses offering remote ordering and doorstep deliveries. Still waiting!

Coronavirus cases and deaths in York

TWO more patients with coronavirus have died at hospitals run by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, taking the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the trust’s two hospitals -York and Scarborough – to 42.

THE number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen again slightly in York, to 127 today from 125 yesterday, while numbers in the North Yorkshire County Council area rose from 436 yesterday to 456 today.

Supermarket queues

Much quieter today. Few queues at any of the supermarkets in west York at lunchtime. Updates here https://www.facebook.com/FoxwoodResidentsAssociation/

Only 5 in queue at Tesco Tadcaster Road

Land army

Many local farmers are using the good weather to catch up. Field unrecognisable from the picture following the flooding earlier in the year

Ploughing near Naburn

Litter

Unfortunately some people are still leaving litter (mainly tin cans). This is noticeable on leisure/exercise routes like the York – Selby cycle track. The Council is not currently emptying litter bins and frankly volunteers have better things to do. Hopefully people will take their litter home with them.

Not just highways and footpaths which are uneven. Cycle paths also suffer (in this case from the roots of poorly positioned trees). There will be a lot of basic maintenance work to do, on the whole of York’s transport network, when normality returns.

Nice touch from Acorn Rugby

New social distancing warden at entrance to Hob Moor

Coronavirus York updates: 12th April 2020

Tesco makes changes

The supermarket has announced six major new changes will be coming to stores across the UK. The changes were announced in an email sent to customers by CEO Dave Lewis

Here are all the changes shoppers can expect to see from next week.

One-way aisles

As part of its ongoing measures, Tesco is introducing one-way aisles and a ‘one-in, one-out’ system across its stores. CEO Dave Lewis said: “As well as the measures we shared with you previously, we’re introducing one-way aisles and a ‘one-in, one-out’ system in stores. “We’ve maintained longer opening hours to minimise potential queuing. Do ask your local store team for the quiet times.”

Restrictions removed

Tesco has announced that as its stock levels are starting to return to normal, it is removing the purchasing limits on the majority of its products. From today, limits will only remain on essential items such as toilet rolls, pasta and hand sanitisers. This means those customers who were planning to stock up on Easter eggs will be able to do so as restrictions will no longer apply to them.

Protective screens

You may find Tesco has altered its checkouts at your local store too as the retailer has now installed protective screens at the front and back of every till at the checkout, so that all checkouts can be open instead of every other one. Tesco hopes this will prevent customers queuing more than they have to during this crisis.

Increase to contactless payments

The limit on contactless payments will start to move from £30 to £45 per shop. Tesco is starting to gradually update its tills. You can also use the free Tesco Pay+ app from Tesco Bank. The app has bank-level security built in and lets you pay for up to £250 worth of shopping with a single contactless scan directly from your phone.

New delivery slots – and more on their way

During the last week Tesco has been given an initial list of 110,000 clinically vulnerable and isolated people by the Government. From this list, Tesco has identified 75,000 existing customers who will now have home delivery slots created for them. Tesco also says it is working through the list and as its teams receive more data from the Government, it will make even more slots available.

Quiet times

Tesco is advising customers to ask their local stores for the quietest times to visit to avoid queuing. These times will differ from store to store but will tend to be around an hour before closing.

North Yorkshire Police thanks the public for making the right decision about coronavirus

North Yorkshire Police has once again thanked the public for following the Government’s guidance and staying home over the Easter weekend to help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Officers on patrol across the county on Good Friday (10 April) reported quieter seafronts, beauty spots, towns and cities, which would usually be crowded with visitors at this time of year.

A small minority of people continue to ignore the restrictions however, and the force has responded to reports of groups gathering across the county, including a small number of BBQs and house parties.

Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable and Gold commander leading the response to the outbreak, said:

“We know how difficult these measures are for everyone – especially at a time of year when many of us would be seeing our loved ones, spending time with friends or setting off on holidays – but we would like to reiterate our thanks to the majority of people across North Yorkshire, who are making the right decision and staying home.

“However, we urge people to continue following the guidance, to help slow the spread of coronavirus, and support the capacity of our colleagues in the NHS to save lives. This includes not meeting up with other people from outside your household to have barbecues or house parties, even if social distancing is observed.

“Unfortunately, a small minority of people continue to show such a blatant disregard – not only for the Government’s guidance but also for the lives of others, including their own friends and their loved ones. Anyone can get it. Anyone can spread it. That is why we need everyone to play their part and help frontline services by staying home and not putting yourself or others at risk. If you have a BBQ or get together with friends or family planned then those plans need to change.

“We’ll be continuing our high-visibility patrols over the weekend and will continue to engage, explain and encourage members of the public to adhere to the guidelines. We will only use enforcement if we have to. Thankfully, the vast majority of people in our communities are taking the measures very seriously.

“The message is clear – stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Please, do the right thing this weekend. The more we follow the rules, the sooner we can get back to normal. Thank you.”

For further information about the force’s response to coronavirus, advice on how to keep safe and Frequently Asked Questions visit their pages on coronavirus on their website.

The Silent Solution – how to contact the police without saying a word

The Silent Solution is a system that enables a 999 mobile caller, who is unable to ask for police assistance or even make a noise, indicate that they are a genuine caller who requires an emergency police response.

The Silent Solution is available to anyone who is calling from a mobile, who is unable to make a verbal request for the police. However, North Yorkshire Police is keen to raise awareness of the system in the current COVID-19 climate, to ensure that domestic abuse victims who may be isolating with an abusive partner know how to summon the police without having to say a word.

When a 999 call is made from a mobile, the call is initially answered by a BT call handler, who will ask for the emergency service required, in order to direct the call to the correct service.

If the BT call handler cannot detect any noise on the line, they will ask the caller to cough or tap the phone to determine whether it is a genuine or hoax call. It’s really important to listen to the instruction given by the call handler and to press 55 when prompted by them. When 55 is pressed, the call handler will connect the call through to the police.

Because it’s more likely that an accidental 999 call is made from a mobile, the Silent Solution system is just used for emergency calls made from mobiles.

This doesn’t mean that callers from landlines would not receive the same help. If a 999 call is made from a landline number and there is no verbal request made for an emergency service, the caller doesn’t answer any questions and only background noise can be heard, the BT call handler will connect the call to police, as there is doubt over someone’s safety.

Speaking about the Silent Solution, Head of the Force Control Room, Superintendent Jason Dickson said:

“Nationally around 50 emergency ‘silent solution’ calls are transferred to police by BT call handlers, as a result of someone pressing 55 when prompted.

“Thousands of ‘in pocket’ 999 calls are made every day which BT have to screen out, to ensure only genuine emergency calls get the help and priority they need. That’s why it’s really important to listen to the call handler and cough or tap and press 55 when asked, so they know you are in real need of help.”

Speaking about the police response to domestic abuse calls during the COVID-19 pandemic, force lead for Safeguarding, Superintendent Allan Harder said:

“It’s essential that victims who are suffering abuse at home know that we are here and ready to help. If you have reason to call 999, please be assured that we are responding to emergency calls and in a position to safeguard and support you.

“Please do not be deterred from calling police, thinking you are wasting police time or falsely using already stretched resources in this time of national crisis. If you are in an emergency and you are in danger, call 999, use the Silent Solution if you need to and we will respond.

“If you are not in immediate risk of harm, but want to report your concerns to police, call us on 101.

“There are also a number of online and telephone resources available to support you, should you not want to talk to police. Visit the North Yorkshire Police website – www.northyorkshire.police.uk/DAsupport for more information.

“If you need us, call us and we will be there.”

Mourners allowed back at Crematorium

The York Councils decision to ban all mourners from services at the York crematorium looked well intentioned. It was, however, implemented in a clumsy and insensitive way.

The Council has now reversed its ban and a small number of mourners will be allowed to stand outside the chapel prior to interment. They will be comforted – if they wish – by a Minister or other “celebrant”.

That is the right decision.

It had been suggested on Friday – when a government Minister said the ban should be relaxed – that a compromise would be to allow close relatives to pay their last respects from a safe distance. From what effectively would be a quarantined area.

The hope was that the short services could also be beamed to relatives homes using modern technology. It remains to be seen whether this will be done by a Council which is under increasing pressures.

Some questions remain. The closest relative of a coronaviruses victim may well have been living with them. Anyone who has been in contact with a known sufferer or carrier is in any event required to self-isolate at home for 14 days

The major change recently has been the number of people dying in the local community who were not admitted to hospital. The Council says that “A death at home will mean that family members are likely to have come into contact with the deceased and staff at the Crematorium are only alerted to this 24 hrs before the funeral when the medical certificates are sent through.  At that point there is no way of knowing whether family members have symptoms, are carriers or have self-isolated for the required number of days before attending the funeral”. 

The Council now says that “there can be up to 14 services a day, with up to 10 people at each service, meaning that in one day, over 150 people could potentially visit the crematorium. It is vital that the number of people visiting the crematoria is kept to a minimum, in order to minimise the chances of spreading coronavirus”.

Similar arrangements apply to burials at Fulford Cemetery.

If Funeral Directors or the technical staff at the crematorium became ill then there could be a backlog of bodies. In turn this could lead to some unsavoury choices  having to be made including the possibility of mass burials.

No one knows what the incidence of coronavirus deaths will be.

The  Council says it will ensure that services of remembrance at York Crematorium will be offered to all families when restrictions are lifted and a city wide multifaith remembrance ceremony will be held, supported by local faith leaders and the Council.

Arrangements will be made for ashes to be scattered in accordance with relatives wishes.

We think that local politicians should concentrate on finding solutions to issues rather than point scoring. The local MP, for example, could usefully ensure that all those in bereavement services have adequate protective clothing and are offered regular virus testing.  Processes to ensure the crematorium site and transport remain sterile may also need support.

It may be that those attending funerals will also need to be tested. The absence of a quick and reliable test remains a concern. (No one in China is allowed to move around if they have a high temperature)

When the crisis is over, there will be a time for reflection. Processes and contingency plans will need to be reviewed.

 It may be that the many residents who now walk and cycle enjoying the City and its environs will demand that more parks and open spaces are made available in future.

Such facilities might provide a lasting memorial for those have have lost their lives and for their relatives who also had to make a sacrifice to keep others safe.

Coronavirus York updates – 11th April 2020

Death toll in York & Scarborough

THIRTY-nine people have now died after contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) in the York Trust Hospital Foundation

Food

UPDATE Saturday 11th April 2020 12:00 noon

Tesco Askham Bar 50 in well managed queue. Car park busy. Open until 10:00pm today but CLOSED TOMORROW (Easter Sunday);

Tesco Express Acomb Wood Drive, 6 in queue. Open until 10:00pm today. Normal hours tomorrow (Sunday i.e. 7:00am – 10:00pm);

Lidl Thanet Road 15 in queue. Open until 10:00pm today. CLOSED TOMORROW (Sunday),

Coop Beagle Ridge Drive, 6 in queue. Open until 8:00pm. Open 7:00am – 8:00pm tomorrow (Sunday).

Sainsbury’s Beckfield Lane – Open today and tomorrow 7:00am – 11:00pm

Morrisons Front Street. Open until 8:00pm. CLOSED TOMORROW (Sunday),

NB. Least busy times supermarket shopping time are normally late evenings

——

Getting reports of long queues at some supermarkets today. Several are closed tomorrow (Easter Sunday). Also very long queues at Fish and Chip shops yesterday (Good Friday).

On the other hand, Morrisons staff working very hard to fulfil delivery orders during what must be a busy weekend. Delivery van working till after 11:00pm last night. DPD and other delivery firms also proving to be very reliable. Credit to their supply chains.

Still no word on when (if) Deliveroo will extend deliveries to areas like Foxwood.

York Council speeds up coronavirus grant payments for local businesses

Council leaders have reassured the city’s businesses that the council is delivering on its promise to accelerate payments of government grants.

Over £7m had been paid by close of play yesterday (Thursday 9 April), meaning payment rates have increased every day this week.

Staff are working through the bank holiday to make sure that this rate of acceleration continues. Staff are working through the bank holiday to make sure that this rate of acceleration continues. Over £25 million (subject to some applications being held where there is concern about fraud) additional will be waiting for banks to process when they reopen on Tuesday.

The council has received nearly 3000 applications and has been working to speed up a process which includes government-defined requirements to:

  • collect company information including VAT registration details
  • clear every application through the government’s anti-fraud systems
  • verify bank details and company identity

The government has now issued new guidance and offered support with post-payment checks to help councils speed things up.

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

“Getting this money into accounts quickly – and securely – is a priority. Local authorities across the country are working to balance quick payments with checks to stop the fraudsters who are sickeningly trying to take advantage of these unprecedented circumstances.

“We continue to review our practice every day, share experience with other local authorities, redeploy staff and make daily improvements to accelerate payments.”

On wider support for business, Councillor Aspden added:

“We have acted quickly to get support to our businesses. We applied £66m of business rates relief to 4000 accounts in a matter of days, and grant payment values have doubled every day this week.

“Like businesses up and down the country, we’ve had to do this while operating many of our secure systems and customer service operations from staff’s homes and with lower staff levels. 

“We’ve developed an emergency grants scheme for the many York businesses who miss out on government support and deferred rent for all our commercial tenants, and have spoken up for business at a national level since this crisis began.

“This helped to secure more support for our 12,000 self-employed people, as well as improvements to the business interruption loan scheme.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the Economy and Strategic Planning, said:

“These 3500 businesses are worth around £2bn to York’s economy and create thousands of jobs. We understand that importance of getting this money where it is needed most – into the accounts of our city’s businesses.

“I’ve been talking to businesses and partners, and to the officers faced with designing and delivering a secure and quick distribution of around £114m of government relief to businesses.

“I’ve always assured businesses that we’ll do everything we can to gather pace. This is happening, and will continue until every business has its grant.

“We’re providing a range of support, advice and guidance for businesses, including free advertising across our local media for any businesses still operating.

“For all the support available please visit www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport.”

Coronavirus York updates – 10th April 2020

Food

The council says, it “is connecting residents with a wide range needs, from those unable to get an online delivery slot to those who would normally rely on food banks, to food suppliers. Where possible we are supporting local businesses by highlighting those in operation.

This involves a regular check with local suppliers to connect people with the means to pay to the businesses still operating in their area. We use this list to signpost callers who reach us through the COV-19 helpline. We are finding that the information on which businesses operate and their capacity is changing on a daily basis, so printed lists will be out of date very quickly, and for larger print runs before they are distributed.

Those suppliers with confidence in their stocks and delivery arrangements are encouraged to add their listing to the council-sponsored listings at www.yorkmix.com/yorkbiz . This listing is growing daily”.

The list referred to still falls short of requirements.

It is framed as mini adverts which maybe fine for the businesses themselves but not for customers.

It falls short in not providing a comprehensive database – which gives all options for contactless ways of buying and having doorstep deliveries of food and medicines.

Pharmacies and supermarkets are a key part of the supply chain.

Funerals

Changing the way York Crematorium provides cremation services has been a very difficult and sad decision for the City of York Council to make, but necessary in light of public health concerns. We have listened to the advice around increasing numbers of Coronavirus cases in York, regionally and nationally, having yet reached the peak period of infection for the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Following further discussions with funeral directors and clergy, we will now be allowing one celebrant or minister to perform a short service, that will be filmed free of any charge.

We have attached our statement and updated FAQs for your information.

Micro-grants for businesses

A £1m City of York Council support fund for small and micro businesses which don’t qualify for government support has now been fully launched, with applications now open.

The City of York Council micro business grants scheme will deliver grants of up to £1000 into 1000 self-employed, micro and small businesses who need it most. 

Applications can be made through https://www.york.gov.uk/COVIDMicroGrant and are available to businesses which:

  • have 50 or fewer employees, including one person business/self-employed;
  • need support adapting to new trading arrangements;
  • are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus, and
  • do not qualify for any other government grant or rate relief support packages.

The latest information for business is available at www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport.

PPE business ask

We are appealing to the Government for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), and asking local businesses for any spare PPE, so it can be used by the authority’s care workers.

Although the council’s care teams currently have sufficient PPE, stocks nationally are running low, and priority is being given to NHS staff.

All our care workers are following national government guidance on the PPE they need to wear. In a similar way to NHS staff, care staff need to use PPE to keep themselves safe from the risk of infection. The items we need are disposable plastic aprons, gloves, black bags, masks, eye protection goggles, alcohol based hand sanitiser and hard surface wipes.

Anyone who thinks they may have useful PPE is asked to email PPE@york.gov.uk. We thank everyone for their support. In fact a number of businesses have stepped forward already, to whom we are incredibly grateful of what is another demonstration of York’s community spirit.

An update on homelessness

From 23 March we have provided 11 households and 12 single homeless people temporary accommodation. While very few of these cases were connected to coronavirus, as a precaution and with support from local organisations, their accommodation meets social distancing criteria.

All the rough sleepers we are supporting are already known to us. The vast majority have accepted the accommodation which each and every one is being offered. We continue to work hard to persuade them all to come into accommodation and to stay in it while the emergency continues.

We have not yet received any additional Government money relating to homelessness to date, nor have we been told how much York will receive.

Virtual libraries

Thanks to £17K of extra funding from City of York Council, Explore is now able to extend the current range of virtual services to support individuals, families and communities of York during the Coronavirus emergency to help people whilst they stay at home.

The extra funding means Explore can now extend what is on offer:

  • Press Reader. Explore will buy a 12 month subscription to Press Reader This will provide  access to over 7000 daily newspaper and magazine titles from more than 100 countries.  
  • More e-books and e-audiobooks
  • Specialist conferencing software to bring people together in a virtual space and invite them to challenge their imagination in new ways.
  • Support with getting online