Coronavirus York updates; 12th October 2020

No change to York alert level following PMs announcement

The PM has announced a three tier system of restrictions.

Against expectations, York is still to be classified as a “medium risk” area with the current set of restrictions continuing to apply.

The new three-tier system on local lockdowns is:

TIER 1 Medium : Rule of Six and 10pm curfew – Includes York

TIER 2: High: All indoor household mixing banned but permitted outdoors including in private gardens – Includes Nottinghamshire, East & West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak

TIER 3: Very High: All household mixing banned and pubs/bars closed along with gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos. – Liverpool city region will be placed in the ‘very high’ risk category of the new system from Wednesday

What medium level means for you:

Social contact

  • The Rule of 6 continues to apply
  • Childcare bubbles (for under-15s/years 9 and 10) children (or vulnerable adults) where necessary for caring purposes (to be a consistent childcare relationship, not for playdates). 
  • Up to 15 people at wedding,  civil partnership ceremonies and ‘significant event’ gatherings
  • Up to 30 people can attend funerals 
  • No mass events for example sports events and pilot performances 
  • Organised sport is only allowed outdoors
  • Visiting indoor hospitality/leisure/retail settings under rule of 6 

Businesses

  • Business in sectors which are permitted to open by law can remain so providing they meet Covid19-Secure guidance. 
  • All workers in indoor hospitality must wear face coverings and/or work behind screens (chefs, waiting staff, etc.). Customers must also wear face coverings, apart from when seated 
  • Leisure and entertainment venue must be closed between 10pm and 5am, but can continue delivery after 10pm. 
  • Food and drink venues will be table service only. 
  • More stringent Covid19 secure guidance and enforcement. Where possible, WFH should be encouraged.
  • For the latest government guidance for your business go to gov.uk/coronavirus

Deaths and test results

THREE more deaths in the York Hospital Trust area announced today. 2 occurred on Saturday and 1 last Friday. That brings the second wave death toll to 5 in little over a week.

There have been 63 (SIXTY THREE) additional positive test results announced today bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the City to 2095

The highest single day number of new cases occurred last Wednesday when 94 positive tests were carried out.

Although the rolling 7 day average number of new cases dropped to 66.14 last Friday it is too soon to say whether this represents a new trend.

The largest number of cases continues to be recorded in the Heslington/University neighbourhood (88 cases).

The media are reporting that at the University of York, there were 220 individuals self isolating due to a positive Covid-19 test on Monday.

At York St John University there were 67 people self isolating due to a positive test on Monday.

The smallest number (6) occurred in the Dunnington/Elvington neighbourhood.

Q & A sessions

This week residents are invited to join a Live Coronavirus Q&A where city leaders will be discussing the latest public health updates and answer questions.

Tuesday 13 October, 6-7pm – Public Health Update, including with Cllr Keith Aspden and director of public health, Sharon Stoltz.

Head over to our Facebook page to watch them live. Ask your questions by commenting live or email your question ahead of time to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk and specify which live Q&A your question relates to.

We also have regular resident email updates, sign up at https://www.york.gov.uk/form/EmailUpdates

Daily COVID case data for York is available on our social media accounts: Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

City of York Council Public Health Update

City leaders have today thanked York residents and urged everyone to continue working together to protect the people and places we love.

The Government has today outlined a new three-tier system for restrictions, split between ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ levels. The new system has been introduced in an effort to tackle the rising number of Covid-19 infections nationally.

Although it has not been officially confirmed by the Government, it is understood that York will remain at the medium level, meaning that there will be no additional restrictions, beyond the current national guidance, to be introduced for York’s residents and businesses.

However, it is important to underline that York’s infection rate is rising significantly and the Council continues to work with partners across the city to address this. City leaders have urged everyone to play their part to slow the spread of the virus and to avoid stricter restrictions in the future. Residents and visitors are being urged to follow good public health measures and remember Hands, Face, Space at all times, to protect those we love and keep the places we enjoy open.

The provisional rate for the last seven days of new Covid cases for every 100,000 people in York is 207.2. This is higher than the national average of 133.8, but lower than the regional average of 231.9.

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

“Whilst it is welcome the early indications that no further restrictions are to be put in place in York, we must remain vigilant and work together to keep our city safe and open.”

“It is thanks to our collective effort that we can continue to keep the places we love open. However, as the number of cases continue to rise in York and across the country, we must not rest on our laurels and continue to work together to protect jobs, keep our friends and family safe and keep the places we love open.

“This year has been exceptionally difficult for many, and we are grateful to residents and businesses across the city who continue to do their bit in protecting our city. Despite the challenges of this year, York has demonstrated what it does best − pulling together and supporting each other. It is crucial that we continue in this spirit and work together over the coming weeks and months.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, said:

This is welcome news, but it does not mean we can relax.

“We continue to closely monitor the data to track the spread of the virus as quickly as possible.  We’re seeing the virus spread mainly through social contact and households mixing indoors and not social distancing.

“We know how hard it is to stay away but the best way to show love at the moment is to keep your loved ones safe by practicing Hands. Face. Space. We must continue to wash our hands regularly, observe social distancing and wear face coverings in busy places.

“Please make sure you are familiar with the symptoms, self-isolate if you show any of them, and book a test straight away.”

Keep informed

This week residents are invited to join a Live Coronavirus Q&A where city leaders will be discussing the latest public health updates and answer questions.

Tuesday 13 October, 6-7pm – Public Health Update, including with Cllr Keith Aspden and director of public health, Sharon Stoltz.

Head over to our Facebook page to watch them live. Ask your questions by commenting live or email your question ahead of time to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk and specify which live Q&A your question relates to.

We also have regular resident email updates, sign up at https://www.york.gov.uk/form/EmailUpdates

Daily COVID case data for York is available on our social media accounts: Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Coronavirus York updates; 21st April 2020

City of York Council Leaders in a Coronavirus Q&A, Live on Facebook

Residents are invited to watch and interact with a live #AskTheLeaders Coronavirus question and answer session on City of York Council’s Facebook page on Tuesday 28 April, 5-6pm.

Residents can join live on Facebook to hear from:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council
  • Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of the Council
  • Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Climate Change and Environment
  • Ian Floyd, Interim Head of Paid Services
  • Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health

Residents 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 conversations covers as many topics as possible.

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

“In these unprecedented times, it’s essential that we try new ways of reaching our residents and enabling them to ask questions and raise concerns about the city’s response to the outbreak of coronavirus.”

“I look forward to hosting the live Coronavirus question time session and hearing from local residents. I hope the live session gives clarity, reassurance and useful information in this ever changing situation.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader of City of York Council, said;

“This is a great opportunity for us to get direct feedback from residents about how the lockdown is affecting them, their families and neighbours in York. We can also share some of the amazing work taking place in every community.

“I want to encourage resident to email us your questions and join us next week to have a conversation about our city’s response to Coronavirus and how we are working together to save lives.”

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: Resident 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 if they have not already submitted questions via email.

Cycle couriers

The media are reporting that cycle couriers – delivering food – are being prevented from cycling though the City centre foot-streets.

If correct then we think that is wrong. The footstreets are virtually deserted and the couriers are part of the solution to food supply issues in the City. Clearly they would need to observe a voluntary code restricting their speed but, in principle, getting food to people quickly is a higher priority than enforcing inessential access restrictions.

Greater use of the pedestrian areas by “exercise” cyclists might also help to address the call for a ban on traffic on some residential roads.

We’re not entirely convinced that all courier companies are responding to the needs of people living in sub-urban areas. It’s two weeks since “Deliveroo” said they would extend their service to Acomb but there is no sign of the promised Morrisons/McColls services actually being implemented.

Council information

Leaflet delivery update

The Council claims that a letter from the Leader, Deputy Leader and Interim Head of paid Service “was distributed to York homes over the weekend and Monday. This letter also included ward information and information on volunteering and how to get help”. Many homes did not receive this letter but it contained little that was new anyway.

 The “Our City” newsletter  will be delivered to all homes throughout the week.

It contains two pages of “look at me” photos of Councillors but omits to provide their contact telephone numbers. The space would have been better utilised giving details of food doorstep deliverers, and information about continuing pharmacy, supermarket (pipeline) and takeaway delivery arrangement.

The Council says that a a leaflet sharing the names and contact details of local independent food suppliers who can deliver or arrange collection will be “delivered soon”. The draft list circulated last week was far from comprehensive so hopefully any new list will have been updated.

Millies Fruit and Veg boxes

There are several small independent shops who are providing outstanding customer service. These include, to our knowledge, Millies Greengrocers (tel. 01904 677035), Heslington Fresh Foods (01904 728905) and Richardson’s Woodthorpe Butchers ((01904 707876). There must be many more in other parts of the City. Any trader undertaking home deliveries, who wants to be added to the Council list, should email:  food@york.gov.uk

The Council also says, “We are also finalising a booklet providing more information to support residents’ health and wellbeing over this difficult period”.

Job retention scheme

 The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications. Employers can now go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker. 5000 HMRC staff will operate the scheme, which is expected to help thousands of firms across the UK.

 Please note the following key guidelines : 

  • To receive payment by 30 April businesses will need to complete an application by 22 April. This is because it will take six working days for the claim to be processed, issued and received.
  •  Decide whether businesses want to make their own claim or if they want their agent to act on their behalf – if they have an agent that has authorisation to act for you on PAYE matters, they can make a claim for CJRS on their behalf.
  •  Businesses are being asked to only call the government if they can’t find what they need on gov.uk – please, wherever possible, leave the phone lines open for those who need it most. All applications will be processed online. After a claim has been submitted it will take six working days for it to be paid – businesses are being asked to please not chase up payment during this time.
  •  Employees should speak to their employers with any questions, not HMRC. The government won’t be able to answer queries from individual employees.

The York and North Yorkshire LEP have provided a handy step by step guide for businesses to help them through this process.

Information on financial support

On top of this the government has launched a new tool to help people find coronavirus financial support for their business. Businesses may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants; this support finder will help you to see what support is available for you and your business.

 Support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus

 Finally, a new billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus has been announced. The package includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from the government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development will also benefit from £750 million of grants and loans.

  Cancellation of GCSES and A LEVELS

 The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is expected to continue having a significant impact on the education system, and the country, for months to come. Therefore, exams have been cancelled now to give pupils, parents, and teachers certainty, and enable schools and colleges to focus on supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers.  More information about the cancellations is available:  https://www.york.gov.uk/COVIDExamCancellations

 Local government funding

 Over the weekend the government confirmed an additional £1.6bn of funding for local authorities. This funding has been welcomed.