Coronavirus York updates; 29th April 2020

Coronavirus cases in York

here are 258 known cases of coronavirus in York out of a local population of 209,893. That is a rate of 1229 cases per million – the 142nd highest rate in England.

Government loans for small businesses but York grants scheme flops

The new government “Bounce Back Loan” scheme will launch on 4 May 2020.

The scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Read more here:

Meanwhile the York Council has still not provided an update on its grant scheme for “micro” businesses prompting concerns that the scheme was just a bit of “window dressing”. The scheme promised £1 million in funding.

Criticism of the Councils reaction to the health crisis is increasing in other areas. It appears that only a small proportion of the residents who volunteered to help have actually had their offers taken up while several businesses say they are continuing to deliver food in the City but were not included on the Councils recent advertising leaflet.

Coronavirus York Updates: 18th April 2020


 If anyone is struggling financially, or cannot access the internet to order food, please contact the Council on 01904 551550 or email This telephone line is open daily, including at the weekend when it’s open 8.30am – 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

Explore update re free magazine and newspaper access

Press Reader – the app giving free access to thousands of newspapers and magazines – is now live and free to access for anyone with an Explore library card. Explore was able to buy a subscription to Press Reader with part of the grant awarded last week by City of York council from the Covid-19 general support grant.  The latest information is available at

 Every Mind Matters

 With data showing over 4 in 5 adults are worried about the effect that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on their life right now, with over half saying it affected their wellbeing and nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety Public Health England are reminding people to take steps to look after their mental health during this challenging period for everyone.

 Their Every Mind Matters website includes new NHS expert tips and advice on looking after mental wellbeing and supporting your family and loved ones during this time.

 Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have narrated a powerful new film in support of campaign and to encourage people to look after their mental and physical wellbeing.

 The Every Mind Matters campaign will be supported through social media, digital, national TV and partner support activity, helping to reach the audiences most at-risk of poor mental health  link to the video.

 Business update

5,500 York businesses have now benefitted from over £100m of grants and relief as City of York Council continues to support businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak.  A specialist team have worked round the clock to ensure businesses get the government grants and business rates relief as quickly as possible, whilst carrying out rigorous checks to make sure that fraudsters cannot take advantage of the situation.

The £100m is made up of two main funding sources, business rates relief which accounts for £66m and a further £34m in business grants paid out to over 2500 accounts. We are working through the remaining payments as quickly as possible.

Community support- food update

A city-wide operation encompassing York’s foodbank, the Council’s community hubs, community meal providers and local food businesses are helping ensure people get the food they need.

To service the council’s community hubs with food, the Council has created a central depot with volunteer drivers and vehicles to transport goods to the hubs. There, food boxes are put together and delivered to people identified through the Council’s dedicated support line.

From making phone calls to thousands of residents, the volunteers in the hubs are building a picture of the amount of food needed and how urgently, meeting special dietary needs and adding to the Government-supplied food.

The council’s support line is also helping people who can afford to buy their shopping but can’t get a delivery slot, or who people who can’t order online.

An interim list of businesses offering doorstep deliveries has been published.

It can be downloaded from this link

NHS services

 Colleagues at the Vale of York CCG have issued an important message reminding patients that the NHS is still available for non Covid-19 related illnesses amid concerns patients may be putting off using NHS services for illnesses not related to coronavirus (Covid-19).

GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients should they be needed.

For more information please see their press release


The Council says that in the coming days and weeks residents will be getting information delivered to them:

  • A leaflet promoting how to be a volunteer and what to do if you need help together with a leaflet promoting health information with a letter thanking the city for its resolve and containing important health information for people to keep is currently being delivered
  • A special copy of Our City magazine, bringing together information about resident support and council services in one place will be delivered w/c 20 April
  • A leaflet sharing the names and contact details of local independent food suppliers who can deliver or arrange collection
  • A booklet providing more information to support your wellbeing over this extended lockdown.

Coronavirus York updates – 9th April 2020

Compost bins

According to the Council their special offer on garden composting bins is still available. Details here.

Get a compost bin

We currently have a ‘buy one get one half price’ offer, meaning you can team up with family members, friends or neighbours to get a second compost bin at a reduced price. To take advantage of this offer:

There are 2 sizes of compost bin available:

  • 220 litre: £18.50
  • 330 litre: £20.50

Delivery is an additional £5.99 per order. Compost bins are:

  • made in the UK from 100% recycled plastic
  • designed with a secure windproof lid and removable side hatch
  • ‘carbon footprint certified’ by the Carbon Trust
  • guaranteed for 15 years


The Council says that it has worked with York Mix and Minster FM—north-yorkshire-supermarket-opening-times-and-restrictions/ “to make sure information is published which shares details of shops or restaurants who are able to deliver food and provides updated information about supermarkets”.

“Following feedback, we are now exploring how to make this information available in print”.

Unfortunately none of the lists published by the commercial media so far is comprehensive. They  often lack information about product rage, prices, pipelines, on line ordering and payment options as well as geographical coverage. 

The Community Hubs are now delivering food to anyone who needs immediate help – this ranges from those who usually access foodbank support, to residents that are medically shielded but have special dietary needs which are not met by Government food delivery system.  These flexible hubs are expected to deliver other sorts of help and all follow safe working guidelines, as far as is practical.


As part of steps to manage the impact and spread of Coronavirus, the Council has made the sad decision to cease all funeral services at the Crematorium with immediate effect [9 April 2020]. The cremations will continue as planned.

A number of precautions have already been taken at the Crematorium to reduce the risk to members of the public and staff. However, in light of new stricter and clearer government guidance relating to social distancing at funerals, we have had to make this difficult decision.

The council is taking into account the risks of infection spread outside of hospital settings and therefore, has to ensure that the health and well-being of everyone is protected, including the public, crematorium staff and partners, such as funeral directors. This has been one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make. At a time when family and friends are the most important part of our lives, we know this is going to be really difficult for many people who have lost their loved ones.

Council asks York businesses for help with PPE

City of York Council is appealing to the Government for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), and to 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. The Council  has low stocks of PPE. Teams go through hundreds of single use items every day. As national stock levels are low, anything local businesses can do to help would be greatly appreciated.”

“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 should email

Coronavirus: Councils financial support package for residents

Over the past week, the council’s Customer Service Team have received over 1200 emails and 1000 calls requesting support.

During the same period, they received 278 applications for council tax support which are being processing. They have processed 68 York financial assistance support applications, 48 of these have already been successful completed and £4640 has been paid to those in need.

The council is also finalising the automatic award of additional council tax support. This will see all households on Council Tax Support receiving £150 towards their 20/21 bill.

 Mental health

 The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while, and you might be feeling stressed, worried or anxious.

But there’s some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during this time.

 Public Health England has shared ten top tips. Please read and share in your communities. This page includes information on getting urgent support should it be needed.

1. Stay connected with people

2. Talk about your worries

3. Support and help others

4. Feel prepared

5. Look after your body

6. Stick to the facts

7. Stay on top of difficult feelings

8. Do things you enjoy

9. Focus on the present

10. Look after your sleep


 Schools, childcare and information for families

 We have the bank holiday coming up this weekend.

 Many schools and early years settings across York will remain open over the holiday period to support those who need their care most.

At the same time, City of York Council has developed lots of information to help support parents and carers in their home schooling. 

To find out more or to download the pack, which includes:  

  • Easter Pack – online resources for mental wellbeing, online learning and staying active whilst at home
  • Fact sheets to help explain coronavirus to children and young people
  • Easy read information for children and young people with learning disabilities
  • Parent pack – resources for family schedules and timetables
  • And much more!


For more information on school support for key workers visit

For more information on early years support please visit

The press statement is here:  


Household waste and recycling collections will be taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday. To check when your collections are due, visit

 We are also asking residents not put used tissues into the recycling boxes – which we’ve been seeing on our collection rounds today.

They must go into the household waste bin (black bin) and be double bagged. Please follow these guidelines and help protect our frontline waste staff.

 Help us to ensure we can collect your waste by following these steps:

  • Double bag your waste if you have symptoms of Coronavirus
  • keep it separate from other waste and put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin
  • wipe down bins and boxes before and after collection
  • minimise the waste you throw away
  • park responsibly


City of York Council have today granted £17k to Explore York Libraries and Archives, in order to extend the current range of virtual services to support individuals, families and communities of York during the Coronavirus emergency. This will give residents access to a wider range of e-books and audiobooks for all ages, and free access to Press Reader, a huge archive of 7000+ newspaper and magazine titles updated daily.

The extra funding will also enable residents to use Explore’s ‘Virtual Rooms’ which uses specialist conferencing software to bring people together. This is a great opportunity for artists to collaborate, or for readers to join a communal book group.

Explore will also be working in partnership with City of York Council to provide internet access for isolated and vulnerable residents who lack broadband or confidence in using technology.