Public Health Update on Covid-19
- Meeting of Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 5.30 pm (Item 22.)
The Director of Public Health will provide the Committee with a verbal update at the meeting in relation to Covid-19.
The Director of Public Health attended the meeting to provide a presentation on the latest Covid-19 data for York.
Some key points raised:
· The provisional rate of new Covid cases was 15.2 per 100,000 of the population, which represented 32 cases.
· The validated rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 was 15.7, which represented 33 cases.
· The rate of new Covid cases for people aged 60+ was 6.1 per 100,000, which represented 3 cases.
· The latest 7 day positivity rate showed York was significantly below the regional averages.
· There had been 100 Covid triages in the last 7 days.
· There were no patients with Covid in general or acute beds at York hospital and there was one patient in intensive care.
· There were no care homes with confirmed Covid-19 infections.
· There were 4 children of primary or secondary school age who had tested positive.
· In the last 7 days, the rate of new cases had been highest in the 20-29 and 30-39 age bands.
· Over 61% of adults had been vaccinated with their first dose and over 31% with their second.
· Stage three of the governments roadmap was forecasted for 17 May 2021 and reviews continued regarding all restrictions ending on 21 June.
· All residents of secondary school aged children and above were encouraged to take asymptomatic tests twice a week.
The next steps were discussed, including a recovery plan and the Director stated that officers would be particularly focused on the impacts relating to NHS waiting lists, mental health and children and young people.
Following questions raised, the Director confirmed:
· The vaccination was voluntary, frontline staff were strongly encouraged to have the vaccine but ultimately it was their decision.
· The Outbreak Management Board were monitoring the uptake of vaccinations by ward and a vaccine inequalities group had also been established to ensure the right information was reaching residents.
· Work with GP practices and community pharmacies, particularly in parts of the city where vaccine uptake was low, was ongoing to enable vaccines to be offered closer to home.
· Members could contact her direct regarding their individual wards.
· Employers would be encouraged to allow their staff paid time off work in order to be vaccinated, the Director added that anyone experiencing difficulties with their employers could confidentially whistleblow to her and she would follow it up without revealing the source.
· It was quite normal to see fluctuations in vaccine supply and she was not aware of any delays with any particular vaccine but would consult with the Clinical Commissioning Group and if necessary, would update Members further.
· The vaccination sites had been focussed on delivering the second doses on time, meaning that some people booking their first vaccine in York may have experienced delays.
· Ongoing conversations were taking place regarding student take up of the vaccine and how this would be facilitated. This information would be relayed to all students.
· York had 4 asymptomatic community testing sites and home test kits could also be ordered and posted. Further information on symptom free Covid tests could be found on the Council’s website: https://www.york.gov.uk/SymptomFreeCOVIDTest and test kits could be obtained by clicking on either link: Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk), or, Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . Alternatively, 119 could be called between the hours of 7am and 11pm to order testing kits over the telephone.
· The community testing sites were currently only funded until 30 June 2021 but the Outbreak Management Advisory Board would be considering the continuation of at least one community offer in York.
· All partners were collaboratively working to ensure restrictions would be lifted safely in the city and if absolutely necessary, legal action would be taken if there was sufficient evidence that the rules were being broken.
· Officers were working with GP’s to contact individuals who had not yet taken up their vaccination offer.
· Anybody who would like a vaccine would be offered one and vaccines should be offered to the under 40 age group very soon.
The Committee thanked the Director for all her continuing efforts and those of her team.
Resolved: That the presentation be noted.
Reason: To ensure that the Committee were aware of the current situation in York relating to Covid-19.