Coronavirus York updates; 9th June 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

One additional COVID-19 patient being cared for by the Hospital Trust. This bings the total back up to three.

There is now one patient in intensive care; the first placed there for over 10 days.

The latest government figures, covering the period up to 28th May, confirm that there have been no deaths from COVID-19 in any setting in York since April

Test results

Twenty-four new positive test results were announced today. That is the largest for over two months. It brings the total up to 12,518

19 of the “positives” were recorded at tests conducted on Monday. That may be linked to the return to school after the half term. The authorities have not commented so far on the spike. The 19 positive test results are the highest single day figure seen since 8th March – ironically that was the same day as schools re-opened to all pupils

Two additional cases today bring total up to 62. That figure relates to the week ending 4th June and so precedes the surge in case numbers seen this week.

The spike in case numbers means that the case rate /100k is 29.44 and is, unfortunately, trending to reach 39.4 before the end of the week.

The increase in infection rates in York mirrors a similar trend at North Yorkshire, regional and national levels.

A council spokesperson has commented “we have seen the bulk of transmissions occur within homes and between people who do not maintain social distance”

Neighbourhoods

Eleven neighbourhoods now have 3 or more cases

Vaccinations

We have heard from the Council who say that they “don’t know” what proportion of the current positive cases in the City had previously received one or two doses of vaccine. Most cases are apparently in the younger age groups and are therefore less likely to have been vaccinated (but the authorities really should know what proportion of victims have had a jab)

Tests

  • 4482 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 4th May 2021
  • Of these, 1.2% were found to be positive. That is less than the 1.3% found during the previous period.
  • In addition, 1735 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 8th June.

On street testing in York

Council to hand out more tests to York residents

City of York Council has announced the latest streets it will be handing out testing kits to as part of efforts to keep the city safe and open.

Council staff will be once again visiting communities in the city offering testing kits to residents and encouraging them to test themselves twice a week. This will support the Council’s efforts to increase the number of people being tested for COVID to identify symptom-free cases and stop the spread of the virus.

It is not as the result of increased cases in that area or the presence of a variant of concern. It represents the latest drive to make testing more accessible and frequent. As they have done throughout this project, staff will have Council ID cards for identification and will be handing out free tests and advice, so residents will never be asked to pay.

The team will be going out and about on Wednesday 9 June and Friday 11 June this week.

On Wednesday 9 June the teams will visit properties in Eldon Street, Eldon Terrace, Markham Crescent, Neville Street, Neville Terrace, Nelson Street, Stanley Street.

On Friday 11 June the teams will be out on Warwick Street, Walpole Street, Haxby Road north of Walpole Street, White Cross Road, Vyner Street, Fountayne Street, Briggs Street, Scaife Street, Scaife Gardens.

This work further supports Council’s other efforts to get people tested:

  • Continuing to offer testing kits to employers in the city so that staff can get tested.
  • Continuing to offer in-person testing and collection service at the University of York, York St John University, York Leisure Centre at the York Stadium Leisure Complex, Acomb Explore and Foxwood Community Centre.
  • Continuing to offer in-person testing at St William’s College with residents, employees and visitors able to access this service.

Coronavirus York updates; 19th May 2021

Deaths

There have been no further deaths at the York Hospital Trust. The cumulative death toll since the start of the pandemic remains at 591

Test results

The cumulative case number total is now 12,339 following further backdated changes. It is the same total as yesterday.

Case numbers in the City have fallen from 32 to 27

Rate /100k population falls to 12.82. It is expected to remain stable during the next few days.

The weekly rolling daily average case rate number is now consistently below 5.

Case rates are falling at all levels.

Neighbourhoods

There are only three neighbourhoods now with case numbers at 3 or above.

Vaccinations

Nimbuscare are saying, “Text messages are going out to some York people this week, inviting them come early to Askham Bar’s Red Tent for their second dose vaccinations.

They will get the chance to book into our special vaccination clinics this weekend which are running 6am til 11pm at Askham Bar Vaccination Centre.

Appointments are now open to book 17 hrs a day Friday to Sunday this weekend.

This means people aged over 50yrs, or in priority groups 1-9, can have their second dose at 8 weeks, according to the new JCVI advice.

Please note this is for people in cohorts 1-9 who have already received a first dose of the vaccine. Please wait to receive your text to invite you to book and don’t contact your GP surgery”.

Tests

  • 4523 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 14th May
  • Of these, 0.6% were positive. That is the same proportion as found during the previous period
  • In addition, 1815 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 18th May

Hospital

There has been no change in patient numbers at the hospital today

“More resident testing should help stop the virus spreading”

City of York Council’s contact tracers are out in communities offering symptom-free coronavirus tests in an effort to help case numbers remain low and to keep the city open. 

From Wednesday 19 May, council staff will be visiting communities in the city offering testing kits to residents and encouraging them to test themselves twice a week, to stop the virus from spreading. This work will support the Council’s efforts to increase the number of people being tested for COVID to identify symptom-free cases and stop the spread of the virus.

In the coming days Council’s Public Health team will be going door to door to offer testing kits to residents. This work will start on Wednesday 19 May. It is not as the result of increased cases in that area or the presence of a variant of concern. It is the start of additional efforts to get more people tested and increase testing accessibility. Staff will have Council ID cards for identification and will be handing out free tests so residents will not be asked to pay.

The first street will be:

  • Wolsley Street
  • Gordon Street
  • Willis Street
  • Wellington Street
  • Barbican Mews

These streets were not as the result of increased cases in that area or the presence of a variant of concern.

The Public Health Team will be:

  • offering testing kits at the NHS vaccination centre for York residents and their family for regular use
  • offering testing kits to employers in the city so that staff can get tested
  • continuing to offer in-person testing and collection service at the University of York, York St John University, York Leisure Centre at the York Stadium Leisure Complex, Acomb Explore and Foxwood Community Centre
  • offering in-person testing at St William’s College with residents, employees and visitors able to access this service

Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

We have seen the rate of Covid cases rising in other areas of the country, so we are keen to take proactive and preventative action to keep cases low in York by trying new ways to encourage more residents to get tested.

“We are hugely grateful to the many York residents who are continuing to do their part and get tested regularly. We are urging more residents to join the city-wide effort and get tested regularly to protect each other and our city. Regular testing, as well as practicing Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air continue to be the best ways we can protect the progress our city has made in recent months.

“We know first-hand how quickly this virus can spread, so the more testing we do to identify cases the more people we can protect. If cases continue to remain low the better our chances of moving to the next step of the lockdown easing roadmap.”

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

In recent months we have been putting a lot of work into encouraging people to get tested, including opening up new testing sites across the city, with lots of tests being carried out every week.

“We are continuing to take a preventative approach. 1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus has no symptoms. As we are able to see more of our friends and family we want to give our city the best possible chance of keeping cases down by encouraging more people to get tested.

“Infection rates in York remain low currently but we can’t afford to be complacent. I would like to thank everyone in the city for their continued efforts. It is through this vigilance practicing Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air, getting tested regularly and getting the vaccine when called that we can continue to reopen our city and protect our recovery from the pandemic.”

Coronavirus York updates; 28th April 2021

Deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths announced today. It is now a week since the last fatality

Test results

There have been eight positive test results announced today. They bring the cumulative total to 12,261. This includes 14 positive results recorded at tests undertaken on Monday. This is the highest single day total recorded since 25th March.

The latest confirmed figures (23/4/21) show a drop of 2 cases in the City to 46. It will be Saturday before the latest spike in positive test results affects the 7 day average count.

The rate /100k population is now 21.84. It is expected to remain stable before increasing to 25.6 later in the week.

Rather than reflecting the gradual reduction in case numbers seen last spring, we now seem to be seeing an increase in infections which more closely reflects the pre Christmas wave.

Infection levels have fallen slightly at all levels. However, on the following trajectory, the infection rate in York will go above the national average during the next few days.

Neighbourhoods

There are now eight neighbourhoods with more than 3 cases in each.

Vaccinations

Hospitals

Testing

  • 4453 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 23rd April 2021
  • Of these, 0.7% were positive. That represents a reduction on the previous days proportion which was 0.8%
  • In addition, 1885 lateral flow tests were conducted on 27th April

EARLIER: The steady rise on COVID-19 case numbers in the City over the last couple of weeks prompts questions about the effectiveness of the testing programmes.

A key aspect of the return to “normality” was to have been the early identification of spikes in infection rates. This was to be done by the general roll out of “lateral flow” testing to all asymptomatic residents. There are now 4 sites in York offering this service with the option also available to take a testing kit home. Results are produced very quickly and any positives result in the individual being referred for a (more reliable) PCR test.

Covers the period from 1st March to 22nd April

Initially, when the service was rolled out to coincide with the general return to school on 8th March, there appeared to be a good uptake of the tests. The most recent available data, published by the York Council suggests, that there were 7 school aged children with the disease.

Around 3,500 lateral flow tests were being conducted each day during March according to government figures.

On 29th March restrictions were eased further with family groups able to meet outdoors and some outdoor sports restarted. The number of lateral flow tests conducted fell by around 30% during late March early April. By 4th April fewer than 2000 tests were being conducted each day.

Case numbers in York bottomed out on 6th April when 19 cases were recorded (7 day moving average). They have edged upwards since then and currently stand at 48 (22/4/21).

On 12th April there was a more significant easing of restrictions with shops and hairdressers reopening. Outdoor hospitality, including pubs with outdoor tables, was also permitted to operate.

The number of lateral flow tests completed returned to around 3000 per day.

The Council has not published figures showing how many tests are being conducted in different parts of the City. They do, however, say “that as at 20.4.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.12%. The national and regional averages are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively“.

The latest PCR test positivity rate is 0.8%. That is up from the low of 0.4% seen on 15th April.

Source https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

The number of PCR tests being conducted is currently averaging around 4000 per day.

The current increase in infection levels may be less of a concern than the similar spikes that have been seen during the last year. Most vulnerable people have now been vaccinated. The York Hospital now has relatively few COVID-19 cases (although it is reporting an increase from 6 to 8 patients today). Infections are largely confined to the under 60 age groups who are less at risk of developing life threatening symptoms.

The authorities do, however, now need to provide more information about the take up of tests at neighbourhood level and what they are doing to increase the numbers. They originally recommended that everyone take a test twice a week. Clearly that isn’t happening.

Similarly “test and trace” data should be giving an indication of where transmission is most likely to take place. In the past this has been predominantly through family group contact but – in the light of the recent surge in cases at a distribution warehouse in Selby – more details of the background of the 48 current York cases should be published.

Not least residents will want to know how many are asymptomatic?

People can then make an informed choice about whether to visit locations which may be linked to case number increases.

The next easing of restrictions is due to take place on 17th May, when spectators may be allowed into sporting events and a further range of businesses will reopen. Travel will be easier and socialising will increase.

It would be perverse if this were to happen against a background of increasing infection rates and the uncertainty of how new virus variants may impact on survival rates.

Coronavirus York updates; 1st February 2021

Deaths

SIX additional hospital deaths have been announced today.

They bring the cumulative total number of fatalities at the York and Scarborough hospitals up to 283 since the start of the second wave of infections.

Test Results

FORTY SEVEN (47) additional positive test results announced today. Brings the cumulative case total to 11,136.

Rate /100k population has now reduced to 205.12. Trending to fall below the 200 case benchmark tomorrow.

The case rate in York continues to reduce more quickly than is being seen in other parts of the country

Neighbourhoods

There are now three neighbourhoods with a case rate of below 100. They are Dunnington/Elvington/Wheldrake (6 cases), the City Centre (12 cases) and Poppleton/Rufforth/Askhams (5 cases).

Haxby remains the only area with a rate over 400 (400.4 with 23 cases).

Vaccinations

National

Nationwide 9,296,367 people have now received their first vaccinations. 494,209 have also received the second dose.

319,038 people were vaccinated yesterday 31st January (first dose) . This was lower than the rate achieved during the previous three days.

3156 people received the second dose.

Regional
Local

According to a post by Nimbuscare on social media

“Over 12,000 patients received their Covid vaccinations at the York’s National and Local Vaccination Centre between the 25th and 31st January.

In the over 80s group Humber, Coast and Vale (which includes the York area) had vaccinated 68% by 17th January and 87% by the 24th January.”

Testing

Number of tests

5,431 PCR (laboratory) tests were conducted in York during the week ending 27th January (the latest figure available).

Of these, 9% provided to be positive .

That is the lowest positivity rate found since 24th December 2020.

In addition, 1526 lateral flow tests were completed on 31st January. That brings the total number of such tests to 35,270.

Sites

A TEMPORARY Covid testing site will be set up next week in Haxby which has seen high infection rates in recent times.

The testing will be held by appointment only at the Ethel Ward Playing Fields in Calf Close, Haxby, from Monday until Sunday February 6, from 9am to 3pm.

Tests can be booked by going to www.nhs.uk/Coronavirus or by phoning 119 and selecting the option that you were asked to attend by your local council.

The facility is similar to the one operating on the Thanet Road rugby club car park tomorrow.

It also was set up when virus infection rates in Woodthorpe and Westfield were very high.

York Council staff absence

A York Council committee will be considering the levels of sick absence at the authority. next week.

A report says,

“At the start of the pandemic staff absence increased significantly with a
number of staff not available to work. This was directly linked to coronavirus where staff were displaying symptoms and self isolating and
unable to work from home. The sickness absence rates across the council follows the national and local infection rate patterns, as can be seen, with a slight peak in wave 2 October time and then wave three being end of December into January 2021.

There is some confidence though that whilst rates have increased since
end of December, they are not near the level we experienced in March /
April. There are staff that are self isolating but are able to work fully from home and therefore those will not appear in the figures, also those staff who have tested positive for covid but are well enough to continue to work from home”.

Around 900 staff working in the social care sector are being vaccinated.

Schools

The same meeting will hear that there are pressures on some schools. All York schools are still open catering for the children of some critical workers.

The meeting will be told that the number of teaching staff absent since January 5th has fluctuated but has been between 95- 85, with the numbers absent due to being Covid positive being under 10 individual cases on any given date.

“The staffing levels in individual schools have not so far reached a
level where schools have been unable to deliver on site provision or
their remote learning offer”.

The impact on schools varies according to their size, staffing structure
and the physical space within their buildings.

In particular, small primary schools are finding it more difficult to manage high numbers of children on site and to manage the remote learning offer.

During the first week in January, a small number of parents contacted the Council’s education team to highlight problems with accessing school places, each case was worked through and solutions found.

The meeting takes place next Monday

Football suspended

There will be no matches for York City or other clubs in the National League North today. The division has been suspended until at least 6th February.

It means that the clubs first fixture at the Community Stadium may be on 13th February against Farsley.

The Club have issued a brief statement.

However, there is a growing likelihood that the season will be abandoned altogether, with must clubs in the league very unhappy about the government’s decision not to underwrite the additional costs of playing games behind closed doors.

Grants were made to cover costs during the autumn period. The expectation at that time was that the virus would be under control by Christmas. For a time small crowds were allowed back into some grounds.  

However soaring COVID-19 cases led to a further lockdown, with fans having to watch games via streaming services.

Most clubs at National North level exist on modest budgets and depend on the services of part time players. Most players have other jobs (York is a full-time outfit).  

The government offered loans to clubs to cover lost revenue. Most indicated that they could not legally continue trading at a loss, which would have been one of the consequences of the loan idea.

Last week 12 clubs wrote to the National League saying that the season should be abandoned if the government did not change its approach.

Chester City Chief Executive on Twitter

One club chairman pointed out that if the season were halted – and players and staff put on furlough – then this would cost the government more than extending the grant system until grounds were able to reopen.

Money is not the only issue.

Some clubs are having difficulty accessing COVID testing facilities. That is something that the government could and should fix quickly.

Another club Chief Executive said,

With the fact that there is no testing paid for, unlike higher in the pyramid, it was not fair to put players, staff & their families at risk.
Although a separate issue to the club funding it was equally important to get that resolved if by some miracle the season does continue.
Some players have pregnant wives, live with older parents etc… Putting them & their loved ones at risk. Plus of course interaction in players workplaces again adding to the chance of infection”.

While there may be some element of brinkmanship from the clubs as they seek to get the best deal possible, the government should recognise that it is their decisions that have caused the problem.

They should quickly agree to continue the grants system agreed last summer.

Ironically, if National League football is halted, then the first competitive game to be played at the new Community Stadium may feature the York Knights Rugby team! They are hoping to start their fixtures on 21st March 2021.

Coronavirus York updates; 7th January 2021

Deaths and test results

TWO more deaths announced by York Hospital Trust today. Both occurred yesterday. The cumulative total since 1st September is now 174.

The Trust has today said that the number of admissions has reached a record high for the period of the pandemic. The Trust currently has 135 patients with Covid-19 – higher than the 131 patients it was treating last March.

There were ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE new positive test results announced today. The cumulative total number of cases has now risen to 8522.

The rate /100k population figure is now 532.74.

It is trending to reach 622.0.

There are now three neighbourhoods in the highest infection rate banding. They are Woodthorpe/Acomb Park, Clifton Without and Westfield/Chapelfields.

The Citywide case rate continues to grow following the national trend.

Test numbers down in York.

Perhaps not surprisingly the number of COVID tests carried out during Christmas week (24/12 – 30/12) fell by half compared to the previous period. Not withstanding the drop in the number of tests carried out, a record high number of positive results was recorded on 29th December.

The testing profile showed a marked shift towards the Lateral Flow method during December

The latest ONS figures also show that there is a growth in older people testing positive for the virus although the majority of cases (70%) were still found in people aged between 20 and 60.

Fines for COVID restrictions contraventions

Between 2/12/2020 and 5/1/2021 355 FPNs have been issued in total, broken down as follows:

  • 194 to local residents
  • 161 to visitors
  • 9 for outdoor gatherings
  • 334 for indoor gathering  – 51% (171) of those have been in the Scarborough district.

Speaking about the number of FPNs issued in Scarborough for breaches of the indoor gathering rules, Chief Inspector Rachel Wood said:

“While the majority of Scarborough residents have followed the guidance and understood the rules around social gatherings, unfortunately the figures show that there was a minority of people who chose to openly flout the rules and host and attend house parties.

“Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams attended a number of incidents over the festive season and had to take enforcement action, as sadly some people did not disperse and go home when instructed.

“I cannot stress enough how serious our current situation is. As a nation we have moved into new national restrictions and we are being told to once again stay home to save lives and protect our health service. We are seeing infection rates rise and the impact of the virus and the new more transmissible strain is really being felt by our hospitals and healthcare colleagues. People are losing their loved ones to this virus every day.

“So I am urging Scarborough residents to stick to the rules, especially as we approach the first weekend of the new national restrictions. Stay home and only leave if it is for an essential reason such as shopping or medical assistance. People are not permitted to gather indoor or outdoors socially and you should not be meeting anyone outside your own household or support bubble. For more guidance on the restrictions and what you are allowed to do, visit the gov.uk website.

“Our local patrol plans have been revised and we have increased our presence and visibility in our local communities, so members of the public will see officers on the roads and patrolling our local areas. We will take enforcement action against those who are breaking the rules and putting the wider community at risk from this deadly virus. So please stay home and stay safe.”

Extra £100,000 for York workers having to self-isolate

An additional £100,000 is now available for discretionary payments to York residents who are required to self-isolate by the Government’s Test and Track scheme

This extra funding comes from York’s Public Health Covid Outbreak Management Fund to support the council’s discretionary payment scheme. This scheme runs alongside the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment scheme which makes one-off payments of £500 to eligible residents suffering financial hardship during their 14-day quarantine period.

City of York Council’s first discretionary scheme was funded by the Government but was enough to support only 39 eligible people. This new discretionary scheme will support up to 200 eligible working people with fixed £500 payments. It will also accept applications from working adults living with parents and from working students where they have been experiencing financial hardship because they have been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

People eligible for the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment will have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for coronavirus, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

Information on how to apply for a self-isolation support payment – either from the Government or the council’s discretionary scheme – is at www.york.gov.uk/selfisolate or please call 01904 551550.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:

“We know how worried many people are about money at this difficult time.

“This £100,000 for eligible applicants to our discretionary scheme will provide much-needed relief to those worried about not being able to earn due to self-isolation.

“Self-isolating is just one way in which people are being affected financially by the pandemic. We’re also offering help to people to maximise any benefits and extra payments they’re eligible for, and to give advice to help them manage financially through these difficult times.”

For more information on our discretionary scheme, please go to www.york.gov.uk/selfisolate or email self-isolationsupport@york.gov.uk.

Other support available includes:

For help to claim any of the help above or for more advice on sources of support in the city, please go to www.york.gov.uk/BenefitsAdvice or call 01904 551556 for help or a referral to the most appropriate support.

If you’re struggling to manage, or you don’t have any support, but need it because of Covid-19, the council’s helpline is here to help you through this difficult time. Contact us by email: covid19help@york.gov.uk or telephone: 01904 551550.

More COVID test appointment times available at Thanet Road

There are a large number of symptom free testing slots available at the Acorn Rugby Club site on Thanet Road for today.

Thanet Road testing site today

Click here to book

NB. There is a period, from around 3pm – 6.30pm each day, when the Thanet Road site will not show as a testing option on the booking form. This is to allow the system to refresh.

Council guidance on the local initiative is reproduced below

“Dear Resident

As you will be aware cases in the city are rising and we need your help.

In recent days we have seen a spike in the number of cases in your area (and in some parts of the Foxwood area) and so are offering you the chance to get a symptom-free test to help keep you and those around you safe.

1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms but for some catching Coronavirus can have serious consequences. You could be spreading the virus to those you care about without knowing it.

To help stop the spread we are asking for you and your family to get a test. We are setting up a testing site at York Acorn Rugby Club, Thanet Road, YO24 2NW to make it as easy as possible for you to get a test. This site will be open from Wednesday 6th – Wednesday 13th January inclusive, between 9am and 3pm.

How it works

Book to have a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.  On this website select that you do not have symptoms of coronavirus, but in the relevant section choose the option ‘my local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test even though I don’t have symptoms’.  Then select the site at York Acorn Rugby Club.  Testing can be undertaken on anyone aged 5 and over.  We do not recommend being tested if you have tested positive in the previous 90 days.  Ring 119 if can’t book online.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend this site, instead book a test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 and select the Poppleton Bar site or a home testing kit.

Getting your results

You should get your results within 24-48 hours of your test.

If you receive a negative test result you can continue as you were.

Remember:

  • a negative test result provides information about the level of the virus at one point in time
  • it’s possible to become infected in the hours or days after taking a rapid test – so you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing, good hand hygiene, and practice ‘Hands, Face, Space’
  • this type of testing will only be effective if people continue to follow the guidance

Positive test results

If you receive a positive test result you must self-isolate for 10 days.

By working together and looking after each other we can get through this. We are incredibly grateful for all you have done this year to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay safe and best wishes

Sharon Stoltz

Director of Public Health

Essential frontline Council services announcement

City of York Council is working hard to ensure critical frontline services, such as waste and gritting services, will continue during the new national lockdown restrictions.

As the number of Covid cases increase in the city and across the country, it’s inevitable that the council will also see an increase in the number of infections within its frontline workforce, which makes delivering some services challenging.

Therefore, the council has acted fast and brought in additional measures to keep key frontline services like gritting and waste going over the coming months. This includes introducing stricter staff bubbles to protect staff, redeploying staff from other services and Public Health are also looking to roll our regular testing to staff in the council’s key services.

Immediate operational changes have also been introduced to ensure all but essential highways maintenance works have been paused during the national lockdown, prioritising household waste (refuse) collections and gritting services.

With many key workers currently using the highway network and winter weather affecting the city, it’s important that that the gritting team can continue to keep the highways clear and safe. Grit bins can be used by local residents and are being restocked. Residents are reminded to help relief the pressure on the NHS by taking extra care on untreated side roads and footpaths.

The council has worked with trade unions and its supply chain to develop new ways of working and has ensured all works will happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, particularly whilst roads are quieter than normal.

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

“During this incredibly difficult period, it is important that the council continues to deliver essential frontline services, such as gritting and waste collections, to support local residents, businesses and key workers. 

“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our crews are working hard to ensure that these services can continue despite the national lockdown. With many key workers currently using the road network, it is important that our roads are gritted, so road conditions are maintained and improved.  Our Household, Waste and Recycling Centres will also remain open to local residents throughout this period.

“As ever, the resilience and reaction of our city in the face of adversity has been encouraging. We have been overwhelmed by the response of residents and community groups who are supporting more vulnerable residents across the city. Again, I would like to thank our staff, residents and communities enough for truly demonstrating how York comes together in times of crisis.”

However, even with these additional measures, some services like waste may still be affected if case numbers significantly increase amongst staff. This could include some delays or missed collections and the need to co-mingle some items. The council is doing everything it can to keep such disruption to a minimum where possible.

Key services and changes summary:

  • Waste: some comingling may occur due to staff absences because of increased COVID infections and there may be some missed collections.  Staff are operating in bubbles to protect crews
  • highways repairs/gritting: essential pothole repair and winter gritting will continue as normal. Staff are operating in bubbles to protect gritting drivers
  • outdoor gyms: sports areas, basketball courts and outdoor gyms are now closed
  • household waste sites at Hazel Court and Towthorpe: These services remain open
  • explore libraries will be opening at York, Acomb and Tang Hall for public access to PCs, in order to ensure that everyone in York has access to the internet and isn’t digitally excluded. There will also be a click and collect from Acomb and Tang Hall.  These centres will be open Mon-Fri 10am to 3pm and Sat 10am 1pm
  • a takeaway service will also operate from Rowntree Park Reading Café, seven days a week between 9am- 4pm.
  • christmas tree collection – York residents can take their real trees for recycling to Tescos at Askham Bar in York between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 10 January.
  • footstreets – operating hours will revert to 10.30am to 5pm (not 8pm). Extensions (Blake Street/Lendal & Goodramgate/Colliergate sections) will remain in place.
  • street Works – Works to accelerate the delivery of utilities will take place were possible and whilst traffic levels are lower.
  • the lockdown restrictions may affect the frequency of buses on some routes. Please check the itravelyork and operator websites for the latest information: itravelyork.info
  • piccadilly car park is now closed.

Help us to ensure your waste/recycling collections can continue as normal, by following these steps:

  • Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags
  • double bag – these bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room
  • this should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin
  • wipe down bins and boxes etc before and after collection
  • minimise the waste you throw away
  • park responsibly.

Gritting:

  • So far this season the crews have treated the roads and trial cycle network on 22 occasions, using 1,100 tonnes of salt
  • each time our nine large and three mini gritters treat York’s network they cover around 390 kilometres of road, footways and cycle-paths, with up to 100 tonnes of salt
  • crews leave as early as 4am to ensure the city’s main roads, footpaths and cycle ways are treated
  • some circumstances affect when and how we spread grit, including, traffic, rain that can wash away grit, unexpected changes and temperatures below -5°C, which make grit less effective.
  • yellow warnings of ice expected to remain in York over the next week, meaning icy patches are expected to develop, especially on untreated surfaces
  • therefore, it is vital that people travel to the conditions and leave extra time to complete their journey.
  • the aim of the winter maintenance service is, as far as is reasonably possible, to allow the safe movement of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, on York roads, footways and cycleway during times of adverse winter weather
  • it also seeks to keep delays and accidents to a minimum
  • precautionary treatment is undertaken before ice forms or snow settles on the highway
  • precautionary treatment will only be to footways and carriageways on the defined network, which excludes most footways, cycleway and all car parks
  • the gritting of cycle route networks forms part of our winter maintenance, unfortunately resources do not allow us to treat these as frequently as the primary network, these routes will be treated as and when resources becomes available.

To view regular gritting updates follow – follow @YorkGritter on Twitter for updates.

With the current situation continuously evolving, it is incredibly important that residents, communities and visitors can access reliable and accurate information easily. To subscribe to direct email updates from City of York Council, visit: www.york.gov.uk/form/EmailUpdates

For more information, support and advice visit www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

York symptom-free testing offer

Whilst national restrictions are in force, City of York Council is expanding its symptom-free testing offer to local residents.

The Council is now expanding its testing to include anyone living or working in York who is unable to work from home during the lockdown and who come into contact with other people during the course of their work, including staff working in education and early years settings and those in factories or working in construction.

Testing continues to be offered to those who support the most vulnerable in the city, to school pupils who are eligible to attend school and to teachers who will be working in schools.

We advise that tests are booked regularly (every week), and that people get tested twice, 3 days apart. More test slots have been made available and residents are being encouraged to book their place now.

The Council is also working to identify more testing sites in the coming weeks. We are seeing a high demand for testing and are working hard to increase capacity so if people experience difficulties in booking please try again later when slots may have become available.

The Council is asking that those who are no longer going into school or work as a result of the national restrictions to cancel their appointment if they no longer need it. This will help provide tests to other residents who need a test urgently. You can do this by clicking the link in the confirmation email or visiting our booking website clicking the ‘reschedule or cancel your appointment’ option.

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

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not display symptoms and therefore, some individuals will be spreading the virus without realising.

“That is why we are committed to offering symptom-free tests to help stop the spread of the virus. Given the recent changes in restrictions, we have expanded our criteria to offer it to those most likely to come into contact with others.

“We will be looking to open more testing sites in the coming weeks, and we are hugely grateful to York St John University for their support and other partners who are offering their help.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health said:

The early identification of those who have coronavirus and subsequent self-isolation will really help us drive down the number of new cases.

“Thank you to the thousands who have been tested so far and book a slot. I would urge anyone who is eligible to get tested regularly to protect those they love as well as the wider York community. We would also be really grateful if those who no longer need a test as a result of the change in restrictions cancel their appointment so this slot can be offered to another resident who may need it urgently.

“If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please cancel your appointment and arrange a test through the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

“More venues will be opening across the city soon and we will share more details when we can.”

To book a symptom-free test please visit www.york.gov.uk/SymptomFreeCOVIDTest. Telephone support is available Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01904 551559

Coronavirus York updates; 19th December 2020

Deaths and test results

FIVE additional deaths announced by the York Hospital Trust today. Three of these occurred yesterday.

FIFTY (50) additional positive test results have been announced today. That takes the cumulative total to 6070. Some of the positive results have been backdated to November. However 44 positive results were recorded on 15th December – a monthly high.

The rate/100k population has now risen to 69.8. It is expected to rise to 84.0 tomorrow.

The City’s case rate – although now increasing – remains below the county, regional and national averages.

Two neighbourhoods are showing fewer than 3 cases in each today. They are Clifton North and New Earswick

The case rate in Poppleton, Rufforth & the Askhams has jumped to 188.3.

New restrictions imposed – Christmas affected

New tier 4 lockdown restrictions have been imposed on the South East of England.

People should not travel into a tier four area, though support bubbles remain unaffected as do the exemptions for separated parents and their children.

For those in tiers one, two and three, rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only.

Christmas bubbles for those in tiers one to three will not be able include anyone in tier four.

In tier four, people should not mix with anyone outside their own household, apart from support bubbles.

New covid marshalls start to help protect people and places

Let's be York; safe, welcoming, considerateNew covid support marshalls are supporting the city’s residents, visitors and businesses to maintain covid guidelines and protect the people and places we love.

The new officers will provide advice and help to businesses and people. They will be reminding restauranteurs or licensees about covid guidelines, advising shoppers about face coverings, challenging group sizes or supporting covid-safe queuing to enter busy premises or at bus stops and taxi ranks.

The marshalls will also help discourage people from gathering, including at New Year’s Eve when people will be asked to celebrate at home and not linger in town after closing time. They will also be visiting outlying centres of York too, to help local communities and businesses follow the regulations.

Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at City of York Council, said:

“Helping people stay safe has a direct impact on keeping the places we love open.

“These new officers will play a valuable role in supporting us all to socially distance and to support businesses by signposting them to sources of advice on covid infection control measures, licensing, grants and other matters.”

All our marshalls will carry City of York Council identification and will never ask for money.

Anyone wishing to report concerns about how the covid regulations are being observed should email public.protection@york.gov.uk.

Book essential food and prescriptions now!

With shopping queues building, online slots being booked and bank holidays approaching, residents are reminded to order essential groceries and prescriptions ahead of festive season.

We have sent residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable, details of the link to LiveWellYork website’s list of local food delivers. This was compiled and shared during the first lockdown to support those shielding or self-isolating and is at: www.livewellyork.co.uk/s4s/WhereILive/Council?pageId=5223

Anyone who has repeat prescriptions are asked to check their medication. If they need more to see them through to the new year, please contact their GP.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said:

We don’t want anyone to find themselves without food or essential medicine over the festive season. So please plan ahead and use the brilliant support networks so many residents have found invaluable over the summer.

“Support for people who urgently need some extra help is still there, but we hope everyone can relax into Christmas and the New Year knowing that they have the essentials they need in advance.”

Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York CCG Clinical Chair, said:

The lead-up to Christmas can be a busy time for the NHS and local health services, so those on repeat prescriptions are advised to order them well in advance so they can enjoy the festive season in good health. 

“Having a medicine cabinet at home with some simple over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and anti-diarrhoea tablets is also recommended so you can treat any common illnesses or ailments yourself, without needing to see a GP. 

“Many winter illnesses are self-limiting, which means they will clear up on their own so they can be treated at home using over-the-counter products from your local pharmacy.” 
In an emergency or if you don’t have any other support, please email covid19help@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551550. 

Symptom-free testing expanded

After the successful launch of targeted symptom-free testing in the city this week the council is now expanding its offer to those who support those who are most at risk from Coronavirus.

Since opening the service on Monday to those who work in retail, leisure and transport hundreds of bookings have been made and the council is thanking those who have been tested so far as part of the city’s efforts to slow the spread.

Those who work with, live with or support those most at risk from Coronavirus are now being invited to book their free tests.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Social Care and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board visited the testing site to thank staff for their efforts.

Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it. The rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests, which provide results within 1 hour, will be used to proactively test asymptomatic individuals. This will further support the local effort to drive down the city’s infection rate.

Symptom-free tests are available to book online by visiting the council website.

Individuals who can’t access booking online can call 01904 551 559 to arrange an appointment. The booking line is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Anyone who has Coronavirus symptoms should not book a symptom free test. They should self-isolate at home, and book a Covid test through the NHS website or calling 119.

The Council is jointly working with York St John University to use Foss Sports Hall on the university’s Lord Mayor’s Walk Campus for the symptom free testing. The facility was used for their successful testing programme before students returned home for the holiday period.

Coronavirus York updates; 23rd April 2020

Sick absence hits York Council staffing levels.

Being reported that 31% of the York Councils waste staff are currently on sick leave. This compares to a “normal” figure of 21%

Coronavirus deaths

FIVE more patients with coronavirus have died at hospitals run by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, taking the total number of such fatalities to 91.

Learning together in York

City of York Council’s community learning team, York Learning, is posting daily challenges online, together with virtual courses, to help keep York learning.

York residents are being encouraged to keep mentally active by getting involved in lifelong learning activities during the coronavirus lockdown.

City of York Council’s community learning team, York Learning, is posting daily challenges online, together with virtual courses, to help keep York learning.

#CommunityLearningTogether sets short challenges and ongoing courses to inspire, teach a new skill, or help with relaxation. Courses and activities currently available online include pilates and dancefit; dressmaking, crafts, fine arts, computer skills, maths tasters and modern foreign languages.

Further information about the classes, challenges and lifelong learning opportunities across the city is available online or: @York.Learning.CYC on facebook or @yorklearning on twitter

York coronavirus testing centre to open for key workers

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at Poppleton Park and Ride in York, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers.

The site sits alongside a rapidly expanding network of testing sites being set up around the UK, and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers. The facility will be piloted for its first few days of operation.

This follows the launch of the Government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new labs and field testing sites across the UK, with 28 regional testing sites opened to date.

This network will provide thousands more PCR swab tests – which are used to identify if you currently have the virus – for critical key workers, starting with NHS front line staff. This means those who test negative for coronavirus can return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.