Coronavirus York updates: 18th September 2021

Test results

59 positive test results were announced today. They bring the cumulative total to 21,322

The number of cases in the City has fallen by 44 to 388.

The infection rate /100k population has fallen to 183.88. This is the first time that the rate has fallen below 200 since the 22nd June 2021.

With infection rates in the City now declining, the graph below indicates what happened during the same period in 2020. This year we start with a higher infection rate than was seen in early September 2020. The infection rate began to increase quickly when students returned to the City before peaking in late October.

Rates then declined for a few weeks before the emerging “delta” variant began to take hold.

Although the latest figures confirm that 127 school aged children are isolating having tested positive for COVID, the return to school has not had the major impact on infection levels that some feared. This may be further reduced as the governments vaccination programme is extended to cover all teenagers

Neighbourhoods

There are now no neighbourhoods with an infection rate over 400. There are two areas with a rate below 100.

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Vaccinations

384 vaccinations were completed yesterday ( Friday)

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Tests

  • 8016 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 12th September 2021.
  • Of these, 5.5% were positive. This compares to a positivity rate of 5.5% found during the previous week.
  • 1919 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 17th September 2021

Do we need a new York Pride campaign?

Full litter/poop scoop bin at Knapton

Another day and another basic failure in street environmental standards. Ironically this overflowing bin (above) is located at the start of the Knapton – Rufforth cycle path.

The is also the route into the much vaunted new “community woodland” which attracted photo op conscious Councillors only a week ago.

Yet the neglect in the area is very evident with overgrown hedges obstructing the cycle path, weed growth reducing its width to only 1 metre in places and the surface near the A1237 badly rutted.

There used to be a time when Councillors regularly inspected public service standards in their areas and reported many defects before they became an issue for users. With some honorable exceptions, that doesn’t seem to happen any more.

Time for a bit more pride in the City maybe?

York Youth Council seeks volunteers

York Youth Council is appealing for new members aged between 11-18 years of age to represent the city.

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The youth-led organisation meets fortnightly on a Wednesday evening to discuss a wide range of issues for young people locally, regionally and nationally, working on campaigns that improve the lives and experiences of young people, and making sure that the voice of young people is heard.

Being a member of the council gives young people the opportunity to chat and discuss issues with local elected councillors, leaders in the Children’s and Mental Health teams, the NHS and more.

York Youth Council is also affiliated with British Youth Council and the UK Youth Parliament, which provides regional and national opportunities to get involved with youth politics and even to sit on the green benches of the House of Commons once a year at a special session of Youth Parliament. The York Youth Council focuses on three main areas– campaigns, consultations and outreach and engagement.

If you have a passion for representing youth voice and young people’s views, have an interest in issues such as the environment, mental health and transforming education to name a few of the current focus areas) then get in touch to get involved. We are a fun group where you get to meet others your age from all across the city from different backgrounds. Why not give it a go and join us.

York walking festival begins this weekend

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The York Walking Festival is back this weekend offering residents and visitors a nine-day programme.

Events include over 30 guided group walks, competitions and ideas to discover the joy of walking and wheeling in and around York.

City of York Council’s iTravel team have organised the week-long event, which coincides with this year’s York Environment Week, to promote active travel in and around the city and to invite residents to discover new routes and new enjoyment in walking for leisure.

This year’s festival boasts over 30 guided group walk including suitable walks for babies, toddlers and expectant mothers; family friendly walk to learn about York’s history; walks suitable for people with visual and walking disabilities; and wildlife walks.

A full list of guided groups walks and activates can be found at https://www.itravelyork.info/yorkwalkingfestival

Follow @iTravelYork for updates and ways to get involved throughout the week.

More walking activities are also taking place across the city as part of York environment week and can be found at https://yorkenvironmentweek.org.uk/events-2021/

For those who wish to enjoy the festival in their own time, there are also plenty of maps, games and competitions that residents can get involved in this coming week:

  • I Spy Trail prize draw in partnership with Little Vikings
  • Club Wilder treasure hunt (Wilberforce Trust)
  • Mindful Walk Bingo

Paper copies of activities can be found at Visit York Information Centre on Museum Street, in addition to braille copied of the Club Wilber treasure hunt.

Participants are being advise to take a pair of shears or machete with them to tackle overgrown footpaths

Residents can also download the BetterPoints app to earn double points when walking during the festival week. There will also be automatic entry to Better points prize draws for people walking any of these three routes:

  • Sensory walk, West Bank Park
  • Askham Bar to Askham Bog and Copmanthorpe (Exploring York map)
  • Acomb to Rufforth (Exploring York map)

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport said;

“Active travel is more than just an option for travel to work or study. It’s wonderful to see such a range of events and routes at York Walking Festival to give residents more confidence walking in and around York both for fun and to find the joy in walking.”

Coronavirus York updates; 17th September 2021

Hospitals and deaths

There have been no further hospital deaths and patient numbers are stable

Test results

61 positive test results today. They bring the cumulative total to 21,263

There are 432 cases in the City

The infection rate /100k population is now 204.73. It is expected to fall below the 200 benchmark when tomorrows figures are confirmed.

NB. Coronavirus cases in the City started to rise last autumn from around 22nd September. One of the graphs below will track whether this trend is replicated this year

Neighbourhoods

There has been little change at neighbourhood level today although Heworth North/Stockton has edged over the 400 infection rate benchmark

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Vaccinations

245 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Thursday)

Tests

  • 7971 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 11th September 2021.
  • Of these, 5.6% were positive. This compares to a positivity rate of 5.7% found during the previous week.
  • 2273 “lateral flow” tests were also completed on 16th September 2021

Council Commentary

The York Council has updated its weekly “open data” commentary on the pandemic. It is reproduced below

The data is accurate as at 8.00 a.m. on Friday 17.09.21. Some narrative for the data covering the latest period is provided here below:

People with Covid Symptoms

• NHS Pathways/111 triages – as at 14.9.21 there had been 44 total covid telephony triages in the CYC area in the last 7 days. The peak number of triages was 192 in the 7 day period to 22.9.20.

• As at 16.9.21, the Covid Symptom App estimates 610 per 100,000 in York with symptomatic covid (responses from a sample of 3,257 people). The peak rate was 1,661 on 28.7.21.

Diagnosed cases

*Please note that rates per 100,000 are now being calculated using Mid-2020 Population Estimates

• As at 16.9.21 York has had 21,202 cases since the start of the pandemic, a rate of 10,048 per 100,000 of population. The cumulative rate in York is below the national (11,107) and regional (12,278) averages.

• 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 (12.9.21) is Green.

• The provisional rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 8.9.21 to 14.9.21 in York is 164.5 (347 cases). (Using data published on Gov.uk on 16.9.21).

• The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 5.9.21 to 11.9.21 in York was 204.3 (431 cases). The national and regional averages at this date were 279.2 and 351 respectively (using data published on Gov.uk on 16.9.21).

• York is currently ranked 11th 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 4.9.21 to 10.9.21, the number of cases in each ward varied from 2 to 42 and rates varied from 52.4 to 459.3 per 100,000.

• The rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 5.9.21 to 11.9.21 for people aged 60+ in York was 138.2 (69 cases). The national and regional averages were 156.4 and 214.5 respectively. Case rates are currently highest in the following age ranges: 10-14 (639 per 100,000); 15-19 (339) and 40-44 (299).

• As at 14.9.21, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 PCR tests only) was 7.55%. The national and regional averages are 10.3% and 13.1% respectively.

• As at 14.9.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 Lateral Flow Tests only) was 0.51%. The national and regional averages are 0.8% and 1.0% respectively.

• As at 14.9.21 the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 1 tests only) was 0.8%. The national average is 1.5%.

• As at 10.9.21 York University reported 17 individuals within the University community who were currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test. The peak number was 331 on the 19.10.20.

• As at 30.8.21 York St. John reported 3 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 10.9.21, 4,702 referrals had been actioned by the local contact tracing service. Of the referrals actioned, 4,200 (89.3%) were successful and 502 (10.7%) 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 16.9.21 there were 4 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 of either a staff member or resident) in a residential care setting in York were reported by PHE on 8.9.21 (1 home).

Cases amongst School Aged Children

• In the 7 days up to 13.9.21 there were 127 children of primary or secondary school age who tested positive across 36 schools.

COVID Bed Occupancy in York Hospital

• As at 14.9.21 there were 36 confirmed Covid-19 patients in General/Acute beds. The peak number was 157 on 19.1.21.

• As at 14.9.21 there were 3 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.

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 10.9.21 was estimated to be in the range 0.9 to 1.1. The previous estimate was (0.9 to 1.1) on 3.9.21.

Variants of Concern

• In the latest month for which data is available, 518 cases in York (with a specimen date between 11th August and 10th September 2021) had been processed in a laboratory which is able to carry out the required sequencing in order to identify Variants of Concern (VOC) or Variants under Investigation (VUI). The breakdown is as follows: VOC B.1.617.2 (Delta /India): 190 provisional & 328 confirmed.

Total Vaccinations

• As at 15.9.21 a total of 152,352 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine. This represents 85.4% of the estimated adult (16+) population of York (ONS 2020)

• As at 15.9.21 a total of 139,660 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine. This represents 78.3% of the estimated adult (16+) population of York (ONS 2020).

• Source: PHE Covid-19 Situational Awareness Explorer. Please note that the estimated 16+ population of York is now being used as the denominator (instead of the 18+ population) following the opening of vaccines to all 16 and 17 year olds.

Deaths

Two key 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. For both data sources a death from Covid-19 is said to have occurred when Covid-19 has been recorded on the death certificate. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS Weekly data: In the most recent period (Week 35: 28.8.21 to 3.9.21) 3 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents. There have been eight recorded covid deaths of CYC residents between Week 31 and Week 35.

• ONS Cumulative data: Since the start of the pandemic, for deaths occurring up to 3rd September 2021 and registered up to 11th September 2021, 410 Covid-19 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (237 in hospital, 138 in care homes, 27 at home/elsewhere and 8 in a hospice). The number of deaths per 100,000 of population (using ONS 2020 Mid-Year Population Estimates) in York is 194.30 which is lower than the national average of 239.24

• Age / Gender breakdown (using registrar data): The average age of the CYC residents who died was 82, with an age range of 40-104. The age profile of the CYC residents who have died is older than the national average (78.7% were aged 75+ compared with 72.4% nationally). 47.5% of the CYC residents who died were male. The national average is 54.6%.

Put the trumpets away

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Councillors are trumpeting the “success” of a £3.3 million walking a cycling improvement programme.

They would be to wise to put the horns back in their boxes for a while at least.

In most cases the schemes haven’t been through a meaningful consultation process.

Many were criticised for a kitchen table chat approach to the allocation of scarce resources.

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No traffic and environmental impact assessments have been made. No cost/benefit analysis has been published. There are no specific targets. We don’t know the whether the objectives are to reduce accidents, speed journeys or increase the use of benign modes of transport,

Without at least the “before” figures being made available – a little like The Groves road closures – any post implantation review will be largely subjective.

This simply isn’t a professional way of determining priorities.

A meeting next week will hear that progress on implementing the schemes is slow. It will be the next financial year before any physical work is done. Even relatively uncontroversial proposals like providing cycle lanes on the wide Acomb Road/York Road route are effectively stalled.

That is a good thing if allows some of the more eccentric schemes, like the expensive cycle path link from Heslington to Wheldrake, to be evaluated properly.

According to a “tweet” published yesterday Cllr D’Agorne has been asking council officials to change the content off their reports.

Twitter exchange. The officers comments are absolutely correct.

If so, then that is a major error of judgement on his part.

Executive Councillors have always had an early sight of draft reports. The intention was for them to be able ask for ADDITIONAL information to be provided, if deemed necessary. It was not to encourage censorship of the views of professional advisers..

Liberal Democrat voters in particular will be feeling increasingly uneasy. They voted for a manifesto where the quality of core public services would be the priority for the use of limited finances.

Yet the quality of transport services generally has declined over the last few years. This is mainly the result of poor leadership rather than the virus, Brexit, central government funding etc.

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The budget for highways maintenance in inadequate and local infrastructure continues to rot.

There are too many uneven foot and cycle path surfaces. Several suburban carriageways have now worn to the base layer. White lines have disappeared. Paths are blocked by overgrowth While many signs and barriers need repainting.  

It is time for a change in priorities.

What’s on in York: book launch with Sam Reese “on a distant ridgeline”

Thursday 16th September 2021

18:45pm – 20:00pm

FREE

York Explore Library and Archive, Library Square, Museum Street York

Join YSJ Creative Writing lecturer, Sam Reese to launch his much-anticipated second collection of short stories: on a distant ridgeline

About this event

Ready to immerse yourself in a new book? Join YSJ Creative Writing lecturer, Sam Reese, as he launches his much-anticipated second collection of short stories: on a distant ridgeline (Platypus Press).

There will be a reading from the collection, a Q and A hosted by JT Welsch, Lecturer in English and Creative Industries and author of Orchids (Salt, 2010) and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and purchase signed copies of the book.

“There is something in the wide, wide windows, in the long benches, in the niches for plants that makes you feel like the world is stretching open for you, like there’s room for you to be, to grow.”

More about Sam Reese:

Hailing from Aotearoa, sam reese is an award-winning writer, critic, and teacher. Currently a lecturer in creative writing at York St John University, he is the author of the short story collection Come the Tide and non-fiction books on jazz, literature and loneliness, American short fiction, and Cold War politics.

Register