Taken from https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/latest-news-north-yorkshire-coronavirus-covid-19

June 24 update

A message from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

This week has seen the most extensive national announcements around new freedoms since North Yorkshire – along with the rest of England – went into lockdown.

On Friday, it will be 100 days since the start of lockdown and I doubt I am alone in the sentiment that it feels longer than that since we were living fairly normal lives – albeit with a degree of caution about what lay ahead.

For some time, we have been emerging from the height of the pandemic and trying hard to establish some structure in the new norm. New ways of shopping, socialising, working and learning that will help us return to normality safely.

Now we face another huge moment – as the hospitality industry – something our county is rightly famous for, prepares to reopen from the 4th of July. This is incredibly important for North Yorkshire which has a big role to play in the sector. Across Yorkshire, tourism is worth £9 billion a year and employs 225,000 people. The Prime Minister’s announcement around the review of the 2 metre rule will certainly mean that more businesses in the county feel able to open – albeit there are caveats around the measures they must take to reopen safely. Understandably – after so many months of being told to keep at least 2 metres apart – this review is prompting much debate so I have discussed this with our director of public health in some detail to understand the difference.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that Coronavirus is very much alive and remains a real threat. It hasn’t suddenly changed its behaviour or mutated into something whereby it’s suddenly safe to halve the distance we keep from others. But, equally, no one is saying that – the review is not a licence to ignore safe distancing – in fact, the announcement came with a number of references to the importance of the scenario in which it is considered safe to be one metre plus from others as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus. These include things like wearing a face covering, installing screens, making sure people face away from each other and providing extra handwashing facilities etc.

So, it is really important in this instance to understand what is meant by a safe distance. With the above measures, and any other appropriate guidance followed, the one metre plus rule will allow many businesses hardest hit and many people desperate for some freedom – to enjoy those things safely.

However, please don’t forget the general advice remains that where possible you should continue to stay 2 metres apart. This is particularly important when you are indoors – where we know the risks are greater.

When facing someone – without additional protective measures – at 1 metre you are ten times more likely to be infected by someone with Covid-19. So, please continue to stay focussed, because the weeks and months ahead will almost certainly see regular small outbreaks in the county that we will be working with partners to manage and close down quickly.

With that in mind – this Friday is also the day we will publish our Outbreak Management Plan.

This outlines how we will respond with our partners to work effectively and at speed to help close down outbreaks to prevent any wider spread. It ensures there are thorough plans in place to respond to outbreaks wherever they might happen and how we will focus on preventing infection in the first place through good education and guidance. It supports helping the county and communities, businesses and people to return to normal life safely and as soon as possible. I hope you will find it of reassurance that we continue to be here with you, leading the battle to eliminate Coronavirus in North Yorkshire and to help you to Stay Safe.

Our Test and Trace programme sees us working with the NHS and Public Health England in support of this.

I would also like to reassure our shielded residents – particularly those who need help getting food and medication that our support will still be available when the national programme stops at the end of July. Despite the Government announcement that the national programme of food parcels and prescription deliveries will end on July 31, we are clear we will continue this support for those who need it. This offer is also available to anyone who needs short term help and has no one else to turn to if they are isolating because they, or someone else in their household, has symptoms. No one in North Yorkshire must feel alone. Our Director of Resources, Gary Fielding, explains more on that, here https://youtu.be/548RtlQtuuo and there is also more further down the bulletin.

This Saturday is Armed Forces Day and, in North Yorkshire, we know very well the importance of our relationship with our colleagues in the forces. Never more so, perhaps, than now – when they continue to support us in our frontline response to Coronavirus – with testing services and logistics. There is more on that important relationship here https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/news/article/celebrate-our-heroes-home-armed-forces-day

It is also the day many people globally would be celebrating LGBT Pride and, while these two important moments will be marked differently this year, due to the pandemic, the values they represent remain every bit as important to us. Our Rainbow Flag will fly from Friday throughout the weekend and the following week there will be virtual celebrations involving some of our libraries including a zoom session run by North Yorkshire Youth. You will be able to find out more about those on our website later this week.

As always stay safe and keep up your great work.

A message from Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health

World Health Organisation data shows that we have now passed 9 million confirmed cases globally, with over 473 thousand deaths across 216 countries, areas or territories.

At a national level, yesterday’s (23/06) Public Health England data show there were 306,210 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, with 42,927 COVID-associated deaths. To date, there have been 1,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as part of Pillar 1 testing across North Yorkshire.

The number of people currently in hospital with COVID-19 continues to decrease slowly. Sadly, there have been 653 deaths from COVID-19 across Airedale, Harrogate, South Tees and York NHS Trusts to date, of whom an estimated 255 will be North Yorkshire residents. The number of deaths from COVID-19 each week continues to decrease.

This week, the government has downgraded the national COVID-19 alert level from 4 to 3. This is good news as it means that we are no longer considered to have a high or rising level of transmission. However, Level 3 still means that the virus is in general circulation – it has certainly not gone away. We have been able to get to this point thanks to everyone’s efforts to support social distancing, regular handwashing and self-isolation. The only way we are going to continue to decrease the COVID-19 risk level down to level 2, and eventually level 1, is if we all continue to follow these measures. You can see the latest confirmed cases of coronavirus by area on the Government’s website. 

Contact tracing will be a key part of preventing further spread of COVID-19. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate in line with government guidance, and access swab testing via an appropriate route (see gov.uk website or call 119 for more details). Anyone with a positive test result will be followed up by the NHS Test and Trace system – for more information see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works.

Planning for recovery

Testing

As part of the national testing programme for coronavirus, drive-through Mobile Testing Units, run by the Department for Health and Social care, will be operating in locations across the County over the coming days – usually between 11am and 3pm. Before you attend you must book a test. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. 

Find out more about dates and locations, as well as how to book at www.northyorks.gov.uk/testing

Schools and childcare

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement on the relaxation of the 2m social distancing rule to 1m, the County Council and school leaders are now studying the implications for school transport and how schools will welcome pupils back in September.

School leaders and staff are also now looking at the most appropriate form of catch-up education for their pupils.  On Friday (June 19) a one-off, £650m financial package was announced by the Government for primary and secondary schools in England to tackle the impact of lost teaching time from September. There will not be a one-size-fits-all approach to catch-up education, with schools making their decisions based on the needs of their pupils, the availability of teaching staff and other considerations.

The County Council and North Yorkshire’s schools are committed to making sure no child’s education loses out as a result of the pandemic and we will be working very hard to make sure we get every pupil to where they need to be in their academic progress.

With many parents and carers in the county now returning to work as the summer approaches and more lockdown measures are relaxed, independent holiday clubs and activities should be resuming where possible.

The Government announced on Friday (June 19) that organisations offering holiday clubs and activities for children over the summer holidays should be able to open, as long as they run protective measures in place at the time such as social distancing and hygiene rules.

Social care, the NHS and Public Health Services

Extra Care

North Yorkshire’s flagship Extra Care schemes are set to reopen their doors and accept new tenants after closing them to new occupants in March at the start of lockdown.

Extra Care gives older people the opportunity to live in homes they can afford, in the heart of their own community but with care and support, according to need, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The county council has 23 schemes providing over 1,200 units of supported accommodation across North Yorkshire – and all have been closed to new tenants during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On May 21st, as part of the easing of lockdown measures, the Government announced that people could move house should they wish to do so. Extra Care schemes fall under this guidance as they comprise developments of individual apartments.

As Extra Care remains a key part of how people are supported to live independently in North Yorkshire, the reopening of schemes is an important step in supporting people currently living in the community who may require the additional care and security that Extra Care can provide, as well as supporting people leaving hospital.

However, as Extra Care settings are home for North Yorkshire residents who may be particularly vulnerable and potentially exposed to outbreaks of Covid-19, we maintain that Extra Care residents and schemes should continue to be shielded as much as possible with outside contact minimised at all times.

For that reason, we have been working intensively with our Extra Care providers, Public Health and our own Extra Care team both to keep Extra Care settings safe for current residents but also to create clear guidance on the steps to be taken in accepting new tenants.

These steps include the requirement that people are tested for Covid before they move to Extra Care. They also include guidance on how to carry out safely any necessary refurbishments on units that become empty to get them ready for new occupancy; safely carry out multi-agency assessments of people who are eligible to move to Extra Care; the signing of tenancies; and guidance on moving people into their new home, ensuring their own safety and that of other tenants in what is a close community setting.

If, of course, there are confirmed cases of Covid in an Extra Care setting – and there are none currently – then the take-up of new tenancies into that setting would be suspended until any outbreak was cleared.

We will continue to work closely with all our Extra Care providers as they take these important steps to support people who want to move into these facilities in the weeks and months ahead.

Support for people in isolation

More than 3,000 people in North Yorkshire who are clinically extremely vulnerable to being hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 have relied on Government food and prescription deliveries while they stayed at home to protect themselves from coronavirus.

The County Council will continue to offer support to residents, who need help getting food and medication, following the Government announcement that the national programme of food parcel and prescription deliveries to these people will end on July 31. Of the 24,700 people shielding in North Yorkshire, around 12% have needed support.

For the last three months Maureen has been getting help with shopping and prescriptions from Boroughbridge and District Community Care, one of the community support organisations who are part of the voluntary sector network helping people across North Yorkshire during coronavirus.

Maureen said: “They have been absolutely brilliant, truly. I have some very good friends who are like family to me and they keep checking that I’m ok, but many of them are in the same situation. I would’ve been really stuck without the support. I’ve been shielding since March after receiving my letter so the help with getting the medication I need and shopping has just been superb.”

Over the next six weeks we will be contacting those people on the shielding list to help them prepare for the end of July and put alternative methods of support in place should they need it. Since March, the County Council has worked with district councils and 23 community organisations across North Yorkshire to coordinate the voluntary sector network in each locality, providing a safety net of support.

The number of active community support organisation volunteers has remained steady at 1,418, and 4,016 people received help and support last week. Of the 54 people in Ryedale currently receiving telephone befriending phone calls, 18 would like to transfer to a longer-term service. Ryedale Carers Support will transfer those people across to the My Neighbourhood Service, which connects communities and provides support to people who may be isolated, lonely or in need of extra help.

Those who need help with shopping, prescriptions and other essentials but don’t have anyone to call on, or anyone concerned about the welfare of someone else, can contact North Yorkshire County Council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780. The centre is open seven days a week 8am to 5.30pm.

For more information, including links to the main supermarkets for people who can shop safely for themselves, and a link to the Buy Local site, go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/help-you-during-coronavirus-covid-19

People can also find details of local voluntary and community groups offering support at www.northyorkshireconnect.org.uk

Local economy

Buy Local

Buy Local – Villagers’ mask-making efforts help their community shop stay safe

North Yorkshire Buy Local (www.northyorks.gov.uk/buy-local) is the online marketplace to bring together businesses and customers.

There are now over 650 businesses registered on the site, many of whom have had to re-model themselves during the coronavirus outbreak and are now adapting again as lockdown restrictions ease.

With many retailers re-opening to the public last week, we’re urging them to register on the site to let as many customers as possible know their doors are open. The Buy Local site also allows all businesses to outline the safety measures they have put in place to protect the public.

Church Fenton Community Shop is run by an army of volunteers from the surrounding area. Throughout lockdown, they have seen many villagers doing their weekly shop rather than using it for emergencies. They have been operating a delivery service for those self-isolating or vulnerable.

With more people venturing into the shop now, a dedicated team of sewing bees have been making face coverings in a bid to help protect customers and volunteers.

Read more at www.northyorks.gov.uk/buy-local

Please share our social media messages encouraging businesses to register, and directing the public to the site. Follow @northyorkscc on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

‘Help at home’ project launched

We’re launching an innovative approach to providing more flexible care for people in their homes while supporting local people who want to create or expand a business in Ryedale.

As an increasing number of people need care and support in Ryedale’s villages, the “help at home” project aims to increase the number of small care providers to develop a diverse range of support to complement existing services.

It’s an opportunity for people who run a small business and are looking to diversify and those who are considering a career in the caring sector.

Our health and adult services are behind the scheme, which is being managed on our behalf by Community Catalysts, a North Yorkshire-based community enterprise.

To learn more, contact Kathy Peacock at kathy.peacock@communitycatalysts.co.uk or phone 07503 800094. More details: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/news/article/project-supports-local-people-help-other-local-people

LEP News: Economy set to open further

Yesterday, the government set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs.

From Saturday 4 July, it was announced that:

  • Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines – updated guidance for all workplace settings can be found here: https://bit.ly/sectorsocialdist
  • Two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures – updated guidance on social distancing can be found here: https://bit.ly/SDUpdated
  • People can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites – guidance on opening up the visitor economy can also be found here: https://bit.ly/sectorsocialdist

In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres – guidance on opening up the visitor economy can also be found here: https://bit.ly/sectorsocialdist

Regarding the two metre rule, where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission. 

The full press release is here: https://bit.ly/PMPressNotice

New shared vision of economic recovery for York & North Yorkshire launched

This vision- Greener, Fairer and Stronger– and accompanying narrative was launched on Monday. We hope this will motivate and inspire the region to come together, overcome challenge and take this unique moment in time as an opportunity for transformational change.

The vision will drive the direction of policy and investment decisions as we address the economic impacts of COVID 19 in a way that will accelerate us towards the priorities laid out in our Local Industrial Strategy. It will also influence key sector recovery plans such as retail and tourism.

You can see the full vision and accompanying narrative here:

https://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/covid-19-economic-recovery/

A communications pack to help share the region’s vision is here: https://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Greener-Fairer-Stronger-Communications-Pack.pdf

Welcome to Yorkshire launch recovery vision for the region’s tourism sector

Welcome to Yorkshire, has launched details of a collaborative recovery plan to ‘Reopen, Recover and Rebuild’ Yorkshire’s £9bn tourism economy.

As the county’s destination marketing organisation, Welcome to Yorkshire has worked with the county’s local authorities, national parks, LEPs, many businesses and tourism representatives on this plan with the aim of preserving our much-loved attractions, locations and businesses whilst keeping interest high in Yorkshire as a visitor destination.

As part of this plan, a new Yorkshire Gift Card has been launched to encourage spend within the county.

For further details, read:  FULL REPORT (Download) & SUMMARY REPORT (Download) – yorkshire.com/recoveryplan.

Staying informed

As always, we are keen to promote the following as main sources of business support information:

Communications

NYCC’s website has a dedicated area for all the latest COVID-19 related news visit: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information

Follow us on social media: @northyorkscc on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Advice on things to do

Online music lessons

Online lessons being offered by our County Music Service are going really well, delivering more than 1,100 lessons each week, but the service can accommodate more pupils.

Our service has adapted to allow lessons to be taught online to pupils unable to attend school. We offer the full range of instruments, including brass, woodwind, strings, percussion, voice and keyboard

Up to 32 lessons a year are offered, with a guarantee of 28. Lessons are delivered by specialist instrumental teachers over a secure connection.

We were among the first music service to pioneer this approach and are very experienced in it.

For details, visit www.northyorkshiremusichub.co.uk or email MusicServiceTuitionRequests@northyorks.gov.uk

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge has gone digital. The challenge is open to children aged four to 11 and the theme is the Silly Squad, so children are invited to read anything that makes them happy – a comic, joke book, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in digital or print, an e-book borrowed from the library or what they already have at home.

Children can sign up for free at summerreadingchallenge.org.uk, where they will find brilliant book suggestions, super silly activities, quizzes, videos, games, a place to keep track of their books and rewards to unlock along the way.

Last year, almost 10,000 children took the challenge in North Yorkshire though local libraries. The county’s library service has a huge selection of children’s e-books and e-audiobooks that are free to borrow at northyorks.gov.uk/digital-library, so we hope to encourage just as many children to join in this year.

Library members just need their library card and PIN to download books. If you are not a member, call 01609 533878 to join for free.

Have a read: Great North Yorkshire Sons and Daughters – Bridget Talbot

Great North Yorkshire Sons and Daughters is a North Yorkshire County Council project to highlight and celebrate figures from the past who were immensely influential within the county. It draws on County Record Office archives and the work of local history groups.

The latest nominee is Miss Bridget Elizabeth Talbot, the last owner of Kiplin Hall, near Scorton. She spent her life channelling her energy, innovative mind-set and influence into addressing injustices.

Read more about Miss Bridget Talbot and Made in North Yorkshire at: www.northyorks.gov.uk/made-in-north-yorkshire

Enjoy the fresh air with some gardening

With all the amazing weather we have had recently, why not turn your hand to gardening? Many recent studies have shown the benefits of gardening for our mental health, especially during lockdown where many of us are isolated from friends and family. Visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/health-and-wellbeing for more information and tips on gardening.

Cook up a storm at home

Many of our favourite restaurants are unfortunately closed, if you’re bored of eating the same things and need some inspiration visit https://tasty.co for amazing recipes and ideas.

North Yorkshire Council Council News

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