News centre

Keep the city safe and stop the spread

Published Friday, 9 October 2020

Following an increase in cases of Coronavirus across the country, the Council are urging residents to play their part in stopping the spread of the virus.

As of today (9 October) the York 7 day rate for COVID-19 cases was at 203.69 per 100,000. The previous verified 7 day rate comes from 2 October and was 161 cases per 100,000. This compares to the national average of 109.3 and regional average of 190.1 for the same date.

Residents and visitors to the city are being urged to follow good public health measures and remember Hands, Face, Space at all times.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council and Chair of the Outbreak Management Advisory Board said:

“Through our collective effort we have been able to keep our city safe and open, however, as cases increase across the country, now more than ever we must focus on protecting our family, friends and neighbours from the virus. 

“We understand that this remains a difficult time for many people, but we must continue in these efforts to protect one another and keep the places we love in the city open. 

“Whilst we continue working with our excellent public health team and partners to help protect businesses and residents, it is now utterly crucial for us all to work together to help slow the spread of the virus. 

“York remains a safe and welcoming city to visit, with local businesses needing our support more than ever. Let’s continue supporting local businesses in a safe way following public health guidance, which remains our best defence against the virus. This way we can ensure our city can remain open, safe and welcoming.”

The council are working with North Yorkshire Police, public health experts, York BID and businesses to remind people to follow health guidance. Signage has been installed in prominent locations across the city to ensure the Hands, Face, Space message is promoted to everyone visiting the city centre.

York remains above the national average for footfall in the city, with visitors spend drawing close to pre-lockdown levels. Businesses across the city have been working with the Council and other partners to help keep visitors safe whilst they enjoy what the city has to offer.

To focus on reducing household transmission, the Council has launched a campaign encouraging residents to share their own ideas and tips they use to keep their home and family safe. So far these have included offering visitors kitchen roll to avoid sharing towels, and keeping a bottle of hand sanitiser ready at the door for visitors. 

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

“We are grateful to everyone that has been following the rules so far, and we know many residents have worked hard to stay safe. But with the number of cases increasing, if we want to keep our city open we all need to play our part. The message is clear, to stop the spread we all need to work together.

We know that the best ways to stop the spread are wearing a face covering, keeping a safe distance and limiting contact with others as much as possible. If people are experiencing symptoms it is essential that they stay at home and arrange to have a test. 

To halt the spread we need to remember to follow Hands, Face, Space and to: 

  • Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds or more with soap and water or use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not easily available
  • Wear a face covering in busy public spaces 
  • Keep a 2m distance from people outside your household and don’t gather in groups of more than six 
  • Self-isolate and stay at home if you have symptoms or if you are contacted by test and trace. If you have symptoms please ask for a test by visiting or calling 119.”

Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading the COVID-19 response for North Yorkshire Police said:

“Last weekend North Yorkshire Police worked alongside our local authority partners to protect the public and this weekend is no different. We will be proactively policing the Covid regulations and despite demand returning to pre-lockdown levels, we are determined to keep people safe and suppress the spread of the virus. 

“However, our effort needs to be matched by the public who both live and visit North Yorkshire and the City of York. So far, the vast majority have demonstrated high levels of personal responsibility, for which we are immensely thankful.  We all know we must continue to stay alert and keep going for as long as it takes to beat this virus.  Just like you, I know we might have to live with its impacts for some time, but our collective determination to beat it will work.
“Extra officers will be patrolling across North Yorkshire and York this weekend, trying to keep everyone safe, but we need your help.  If anyone is seeing this weekend as a chance to throw caution to the wind and not follow the restrictions, which everyone should all know and understand, then my message is simple – the police will not tolerate anyone who willingly puts others at risk, by refusing to abide by the regulations. Anyone who acts in such a reckless and irresponsible manner should expect enforcement action to be taken against them.  
“So please enjoy what the county and city has to offer, but do so within the restrictions and work with us to keep North Yorkshire safe.”