Coronavirus York updates; 21st May 2021


The have been no further hospital deaths recorded today

Test results

Two additional positive test results. Brings cumulative total up to 12,346

The number of cases in the City has fallen from 27 to 26

The rate /100k population shows a small fall to 12.35


Case numbers are low in all York neighbourhoods except for the Fulford Road/Clementhorpe area.



  • 4528 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 16th May 2021.
  • Of these, 0.5% were positive. This is the same proportion as was found on the previous day
  • In addition 2804 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 20th May


No change today to COVID-19 inpatient cases numbers at the local hospital

Council commentary updated

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 21.05.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 17.5.21 there had been 60 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 20.5.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 20 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 4,060 people). The peak rate was 1,283 on 7.1.21.

Diagnosed cases

• As at 20.5.21 York has had 12,344 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 5,861 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (6,911) and regional (7,255) averages. Cases identified through Lateral Flow Tests will be removed if they have a negative follow up PCR test within 72 hours so the cumulative total of cases can, on occasions, go down.

• 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 number of new cases is worsening. The latest rating for York (17.5.21) is Green. In recent weeks the number of cases have been low in York which has an effect on the thresholds used to determine the RAG rating – a small change can mean the difference between a red, amber and green rating.

• The provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 12.5.21 to 18.5.21 in York is 11.9 (25 cases). (Using data published on on 20.5.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 9.5.21 to 15.5.21 in York was 12.8 (27 cases). The national and regional averages at this date were 21 and 34.7 respectively (using data published on on 20.5.21).

• York is currently ranked 49th 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 14.5.21, there were no statistically significant changes in ward rates compared with the 7 day period 1.5.21 to 7.5.21. The number of cases in each ward varied from 0 to 6 and rates varied from 0 to 55.5 per 100,000. 8 wards had zero cases.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 9.5.21 to 15.5.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 2.0 (1 case). The national and regional averages were 6.0 and 7.2 respectively.

• As at 18.5.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 0.67%. The national and regional averages are 1.1% and 2.0% respectively.

• As at 18.5.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.07%. The national and regional averages are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

• As at 18.5.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 0.1%. The national average is 0.3%.

• As at 10.5.21 York University 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 331 on the 19.10.20.

• As at 17.5.21 York St. John reported 0 individuals within the University community who were currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test. The peak number was 82 on the 8.10.20.

Contact Tracing

• Local Contact Tracing. Between 10.3.21 and 14.5.21, 213 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 196 (92%) were successful and 17 (8%) were unable to be reached via phone or home visit, but guidance leaflets were posted where possible. (NB on the 10.3.21 the local CYC team became responsible for contacting all cases rather than just those that the national team could not contact).

Cases in Residential Care Settings

• As at 20.5.21 there were 0 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 were reported by PHE on 25.2.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 17.5.21 there were 6 children of primary or secondary school age who tested positive (across 4 different schools).

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 18.5.21 there was 1 confirmed Covid-19 patient in a General and Acute bed. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 18.5.21 there were 0 confirmed Covid-19 patients and 0 suspected Covid-19 patients in the Intensive Treatment Unit. The peak number for people in ITU was 19 on 10.5.20.

• As at 18.5.21 there had been 0 patients admitted with suspected Covid-19, 0 admitted with confirmed Covid-19 and 1 confirmed patient discharged with COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours.

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 14.5.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.8 to 1.0. The previous estimate was (0.7 to 1.0) on 7.5.21.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 19.5.21 a total of 111,909 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine. This represents 53.1% of the estimated total population of York and 64.3% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.

• As at 19.5.21 a total of 62,381 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine. This represents 29.6% of the estimated total population of York and 35.9% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.


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 provides a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS Weekly data: In the most recent period (Week 18: 1.5.21 to 7.5.21) 0 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. In weeks 15, 16 and 17 there had been 2, 0 and 1 deaths respectively.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 1st May 2021 and registered up to 15th May 2021, 396 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (228 in hospital, 135 in care homes, 25 at home/elsewhere and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 188.02 which is lower than the national average of 231.84.

• Age / Gender breakdown (using registrar data): The average age of the CYC residents who died was 82.1, with an age range of 44-104. The age profile of the CYC residents who have died is older than the national average (79.5% were aged 75+ compared with 73% nationally). 47.9% of the CYC residents who died were male. The national average is 54.4%.

Weekend security

Partners support city’s first weekend in Step 3

Officers from the Safer York Partnership will be helping support the city enjoy the first weekend after latest lockdown easing.

City of York Council, York BID, North Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police will be checking that people and businesses are complying with the remaining covid restrictions. These include premises following the rule of 6 indoors, that tables are spaced and customers are giving track and trace details.

The officers, including the council’s covid support marshalls, environmental health and neighbourhood enforcement officers, will be asking businesses to encourage workers to be tested regularly and take up vaccinations when offered. They’ll also be reminding them that action will be taken against open breaches of covid regulations, as has been demonstrated recently.

Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the pandemic, said:

“It’s set to be a much busier time in York this weekend now that the restrictions on indoor hospitality and overnight stays, in particular, have been eased as part of the Government’s Roadmap Out of Lockdown.

“Our officers and staff will be on hand to provide a highly visible and reassuring presence. They will also be working alongside City of York Council teams and other partners to ensure the reopening of pubs and restaurants is carried out in a Covid-secure environment.

“The police will only take action against blatant breaches of the health protection regulations.”

Supt Walker added: “The latest easing of the restrictions comes at a time when there is growing concern in other parts of the country regarding the so-called ‘Indian variant’ of Covid-19.

“The situation is being monitored extremely closely, and our residents and businesses can be assured that any necessary action will be taken should it pose a risk to our area.

“Even though limited indoor gatherings and indoor hospitality are now allowed, in line with the Step 3 ‘Rule of Six’ or two households restrictions, we strongly urge people to be very careful until more is known about this variant.

“We have come a heck of a long way since the terrible peaks of this pandemic, which forced the country into three lockdowns.

“We need to tread very cautiously as we move forward and be prepared for whatever may occur over the coming weeks.”

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID, said:

Thank you to everyone for doing the right thing and being able to open in Step 3. Please carry on following the all-important hands, face, space, fresh air rules and the health protection regulations so you can safely remain open.

“It’s important for everyone to enjoy the best of the city safely while supporting local businesses. Our street rangers will be helping the city do just that this weekend and we’re pleased to be part of this joint operation.”

Hands, face, space and fresh air remain vital. When seeing friends and family, outdoors is better. When seeing friends and family indoors, to help keep them safe:

  • If you have symptoms of Coronavirus stay at home and arrange a test by calling 119 or visiting
  • Wash your hands regularly (including on arrival) and use hand sanitiser
  • Open up windows to let the fresh air in
  • All adults can get tested regularly to ensure they aren’t spreading the virus unknowingly
  • Don’t share plates, glasses and cutlery
  • If meeting people at home, clean your surfaces and touchpoints before and after the visit
  • Have fun and stay safe with friends and family.

In York, we are urging residents, visitors and those working city centre to get take symptom-free tests twice a week and record the result online. In the city centre, testing is available at St William’s College, College Green.

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for Housing and Safer Communities, said:

“We’ve all worked hard to protect each other and reduce infection rates.

It’s so important that, as we enjoy this first weekend, we remember hands, face, space and fresh air, while avoiding any unnecessary social contact with those who are not part of your household or support bubble.

“We’re slowly easing up, but we need to remember to be careful. I urge anyone wanting to enjoy the city centre to check in advance with venues to ensure that there is space and that bookings are available.

“Please also avoid any unnecessary social contact with those who are not part of your household or support bubble, and please keep following the ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ advice from the health experts.”

More information on other test sites and where to pick up home tests in York can be found online.

Trial changes to reduce the number of vehicles using footstreets in York

Following advice from North Yorkshire Police, City of York Council is putting measures in place to improve public safety across the city centre where there are a large number of pedestrians.

Following a decision by the Executive in February, the council commissioned independent security experts to develop a plan for long-term measures to combat the ongoing threat of ‘vehicle weapon attacks’ like those seen recently in Toronto, London and Nice.

A trial of the measures to reduce the number of vehicles in the city’s main footstreet area will take place before permanent measures are installed in the coming months.

The trial will include ending vehicle access to St Sampson’s Square during foot street hours (10.30am-5pm, seven days a week) by using an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO).

The current restrictions will also be enforced along Coney Street with the introduction of bollards at the northern end of the street, close to the Mansion House.

After this initial trial, a wider consultation on the city centre will be commissioned by the Council and will provide an opportunity for everyone in the city to share their views on access to the city centre. (more…)

City centre security on the council agenda

Plans to protect York’s busiest city centre spaces from the threat of terrorist attacks will be considered by two key council committees over the next fortnight.

York’s busiest city centre spaces are set for increased protection under plans unveiled by the council to combat the threat posed to UK cities by terrorists.

Following a decision by the Executive in February, the council commissioned independent security experts to develop a plan for long-term measures to combat the ongoing threat of ‘vehicle weapon attacks’ like those seen recently in Toronto, London and Nice.

After reviewing all the city centre access points, the report recommends changes in the first ‘priority zone’ including Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, High Ousegate and Spurriergate, Coney Street, Davygate, Finkle Street, Church Street and Jubbergate.

Longer-term, this will involve replacing many of the existing temporary measures, such as those at the end of Parliament Street, with permanent fixtures.

The council plans to introduce this as an experimental traffic order, which will give up to six months to understand the impact and work with affected groups like residents, retailers and disabled people.

Before the decision is taken on Thursday 27 September, the Executive has requested that the proposals are presented to today’s Economy and Place Development Committee, so the committee can consider the potential impact that the measures could have on disabled access to the city centre.

Superintendent Lindsey Robson, commander for the York and Selby area, said:

“We’re working with the council to make sure that York has the right security measures in place to keep residents and visitors as safe as possible.

“The national threat level remains severe which means a terrorist attack is highly likely and is likely to come without notice.

“This combined with the shift in methods from complex, coordinated attacks that we’ve seen around the world, to more basic attacks in the UK using hire cars and knives, means that we must do all that we can to protect the city from such attacks.

·             “Alongside these physical measures there is a lot going on behind the scenes and we continue to work alongside counter terrorism police to prevent, disrupt and deter dangerous extremists across the country.

“We thank members of the public for their continuing support and although the likelihood of being involved in an attack is low, we urge them to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or via In an emergency always call 999.”

The current threat level across the UK from international terrorism remains at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely and the police reiterate the long-standing advice to remain vigilant and alert.

In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice. Run to a place of safety rather than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go then hide and don’t confront. Finally, and only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.


£15 million York Council contract for security services

A new contract has been awarded to Gough & Kelly Ltd to run security services for the Council.

The contract started on 1st November and is expected to be worth £15 million over the next 5 years.

The services to be provided include, “Manned Guarding, Key Holding, Intruder Alarm Monitor and Investigation, Supply of Security consumables, locks, padlocks and locking systems”.

A separate contract sees the outsourcing of the Councils CCTV monitoring service

Given the size of the contract – and the sensitivity of CCTV monitoring – the contract has attracted remarkably little debate in the Council!

There has been a similar lack of debate about the cost of a one year contract for “Independent Mobility Assessments” for the issuing of disabled parking Blue Badges. The contract will be worth £52,950 and has been awarded to Premier Physical Healthcare Ltd

York City centre security clamp down as Christmas approaches

City of York Council is working with North Yorkshire Police and partners across York to help keep city centre users safe over the festive season

Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved in events, and residents and visitors are encouraged to continue with plans to attend or take part as normal.

The public may see additional protective security measures at events this year, including the installation of traffic slowing measures.

While traffic to the city centre is already limited at busy times, the addition of chicanes which are being installed this week will help keep pedestrians even safer. The measures will allow delivery vehicles controlled entry at the usual permitted times.

There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues so we advise the public to arrive in plenty of time to allow for this. The current threat level across the UK from international terrorism remains at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely and we reiterate our long-standing advice to remain vigilant and alert.

As ever we would urge residents and visitors to the city centre to get in touch to report anything suspicious by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or, in an emergency, by calling 999.

In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice. Run to a place of safety rather than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go then hide and don’t confront. Finally, and only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.

For more information on anti-terrorism activities, please visit:

Political posturing or considered debate? York Councillors opt for extra meetings

Three decisions taken by the new Council have been called in for further consideration.

The topics chosen are an eclectic mix of the important (new house building), the improbable (listing an derelict  “malt house”) and the bizarre (objections to letting a new security contract)

Council house building and Newbury Avenue

Newbury Avenue garages

Predictably the Labour group hope to divert attention away from their failure, over four years, to provide significant numbers of additional affordable homes in the City. They are “calling in” an Executive decision which sets out how more Council houses will be provided in the future. Despite the minority Labour (and Green) Groups now having a voice on the new style Executive, they are still opting to delay work starting on the new building programmes by calling for further reviews.

The “call in” specifically refers to the decision taken to review the demolition of a garage block in Newbury Avenue and replace it with 9 flats. This was the highly unpopular decision forced through by Labour when it had a Council majority. They failed to address concerns about lack of alternative car parking in the estate or the cumulative impact that additional building was having on the limited highways capacity in the area.

An alternative, much better located, site for new homes on Front Street – left derelict for 4 years by the last Council – had been suggested.

In calling in the item, Labour are also delaying a start on other – less controversial – Council housing developments in areas like Ordnance Lane.

There must be a suspicion that what Labour are really trying to do, is deflect attention away from an inquiry into their stewardship of the housing estate. 

It has emerged recently that their flagship “Get York Building” programme collapsed 6 months ago when meetings were abandoned. They are likely to face some testing questions about the cost of “Get York Building” and its complete failure to achieve what its slogan title implied.

While the scale and location of new housing is clearly a matter of City wide significance, the same cannot be said of the other two issues.

Council security services


Three Green Councillors have called in the decisions made by the Executive on 25 June 2015 to “commence a procurement exercise for a comprehensive set of council wide security services, to include on site security services in all council properties, fire alarm response and investigations and the provision of the Council’s CCTV control room operation and ongoing maintenance”.

The Executive decision was simply to commence the procurement process.

It appears that the Greens are opposed to the outsourcing of CCTV monitoring although this is common place elsewhere. 

They raise a series of question about the scope of the contract most of which could have been raised and answered before the Executive decision was taken.

Community Right to Bid under the Localism Act 2011 – Clementhorpe Malt House

Malt house Clementhorpe

The Council Leader – rightly – decided that this building, which has been empty since its use for storage ceased several years ago,  could not reasonably be regarded as a “community asset”.

The building had been unused – and arguably an eyesore – for many years before a deal was brokered to convert it for residential use. The conversion seeks to tastefully incorporate some of the historic features of the building. The demand for malt houses is somewhat limited these days.

The fact of the matter is that, those who now feel that they want the building to be retained and in particular the local ward Councillors, have missed the boat.

They had many years to pursue an alternative use for the building but failed to do so.

The property has been sold and planning permission has been granted.

The Council should encourage the developers to get on with the building work and provide more homes on what is a brownfield site.

Hopefully the new more inclusive decision making process – due to be introduced in the autumn – will allow issues like these to be fully explored before decisions are taken.

Spurious “calling in” tactics simply waste time and tie up the Councils limited administrative resources.