Latest news from North Yorkshire on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

See our latest news round-up (bulletin).

6 October update

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

I think it is safe to say we have all been though changes since I introduced the first of these bulletins at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March last year.

Some will have been traumatic, and we must always remember the lives lost or changed during this pandemic. Through it all, I have been humbled by the tireless, selfless efforts of the thousands of volunteers, the community groups, our own staff and those of our partners to look after those who have needed help.

I’ve also been impressed by the way in which our businesses have adapted and how local people have rallied to support them.

I hope that over the past 18 months these bulletins have helped in a small way, informing, advising, encouraging and celebrating the Team North Yorkshire spirit of our communities.

As we now look ahead and learn to live with Covid, we have decided to pause and review these bulletins.

In the meantime, Covid-19 remains a threat. The seven-day infection rate in North Yorkshire stands at 434 per 100,000 people, significantly above the England rate of 332.

Everyone should still take sensible precautions and consider others who are not as confident about going out into public and will be grateful to you for wearing a facemask and giving them extra space in busy places. Remember, respect and protect.

Simple actions like regular hand washing are still important to keep us safe. And, of course, our best protection is the vaccine, so if you are eligible and have not yet had both doses, please do so.

Thank you for taking the time to read this bulletin over the months. Stay safe, and I look forward to talking to you again in future.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 5 October 2021, there have been 62,624 positive tests since 3 March 2020 among North Yorkshire’s residents. The weekly rolling average of new cases across the county is 327 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 433.9 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 331.5. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Close contacts and isolation

Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to book a PCR test. Everyone is encouraged to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Schools update

We continue to work closely with schools so that we can provide advice and support where needed. Reporting of linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) enables resources and attention to be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

Pupils and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home.

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace, and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

We have taken the opportunity of the start of the school term to remind education settings to refresh the key messages, which remain vitally important in reducing the risk of Covid transmission within schools.

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic testing

Supporting our schools and childcare

Schools in North Yorkshire are continuing to use proportionate measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including increased hygiene such as regular hand washing, robust, additional cleaning regimes and ventilation in classrooms.

They also have Covid-19 risk assessments in place, which are based on Department for Education guidance and provide each school with a bespoke plan relevant to their buildings, school population, location and other factors. The plans are continually being reviewed and updated. The County Council provides support to schools in updating the risk assessment templates and advising on the plans in line with the latest Public Health and Government guidance.

The Government has not yet made a formal announcement on how long Covid testing will be extended, but for now, staff and secondary school pupils should continue to test twice weekly at home with lateral flow device (LFD) test kits, three to four days apart. The testing remains voluntary, but we strongly encourage families to continue with testing for now.

Growing our local econony

York & North Yorkshire LEP & Growth Hub Webinars

14 Oct - Cyber risk - what's it all about?

It is more important now than ever before for all businesses to understand current cyber risks in order to work safely online. Learn more about cyber security, the threats businesses face, and how to mitigate cyber risk with this webinar.

19 Oct - Cyber security for start-up businesses

For start-up businesses, cyber security doesn't need to cost much to be effective. Learn the basics of defending your business from cyber-attacks with this free webinar.

20 Oct - Innovate UK: Innovate Local Yorkshire, Humber and the North East

If you are running a business and wish to go one step further with your ideas and innovation, join this event and open the door to limitless opportunities.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Previous bulletins

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

As the weather turns distinctly autumnal, we begin to focus on preparations for winter.

We all know it’s likely to be a tough one with the promise also of some colder-than-usual weather. So it’s good to know we now have ten new state-of-the-art weather stations with solar-powered cameras installed by North Yorkshire Highways on some of the county’s highest routes, including notable sites like Ribblehead, Blakey Ridge and the Hole of Horcum.

These new stations mean that North Yorkshire has the most up-to-date, extensive range of weather stations in the country to help us have better and more detailed knowledge of the prevailing weather conditions.   These new sites will shortly have their images displayed on our website for public use.

Autumn also means we start some of our seasonal public health campaigns including Stoptober. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the national campaign which has seen two million smokers take part and attempt to quit smoking for good. 

North Yorkshire’s Living Well Smokefree service is celebrating the national month by promoting its own successful initiative which over the last year has had 1,000 people sign up with 800 of those able to quit smoking permanently.

Recent research has shown that smoking increases the chance of getting seriously ill if you catch Covid, so another good reason to stop.

Although vaccination has severed the link between Covid and serious illness in most cases, the rates in North Yorkshire, along with other parts of the UK, are on the increase and currently above the England average.

Bearing in mind these high rates, our public health teams are working closely with schools to support education settings to manage Covid – the important thing now, is to keep children in school for the sake of their learning, mental health and emotional wellbeing.  So it’s back to basics - ensuring good hygiene and hand washing for everyone; keeping occupied spaces well ventilated; maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes, reporting linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) so resources can be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

When we read about the current skills shortages across the country it is heartening to see that we have now taken on our 100th Kickstart employee in North Yorkshire.  The national initiative was introduced last year by Rishi Sunak MP, in his role as Chancellor, to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs. We have acted as a gateway organisation to help local businesses and charities come on board with roles from teaching assistants, to marketing roles and heritage maintenance workers.  It is great to see young people given a helping hand into a career in this way through such an effective scheme.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 19th September 2021, there have been 59,922 positive tests since 3rd March 2020, with 2,792 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 399 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The 7-day rate for North Yorkshire was 451.7 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England 7-day rate of 332.3 work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Close contacts and isolation

Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to book a PCR test. Everyone is encouraged to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Schools update

We continue to work closely with schools so that we can provide advice and support where needed. Reporting of linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) enables resources and attention to be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

Pupils and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home.

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace, and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

We have taken the opportunity of the start of the school term to remind education settings to refresh the key messages, which remain vitally important in reducing the risk of Covid transmission within schools.

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic testing

Supporting our schools and childcare

We are still working closely with schools and Public Health to provide a range of support for schools in dealing with issues relating to the ongoing management of Covid in schools and the offer of vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds.

The offer of vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds is Government policy and an NHS programme. Schools are required by Government to provide a site for the vaccinations and to distribute information and consent forms about the programme.

Kickstart

We have now taken on our 100th Kickstart employee in North Yorkshire.

The national initiative was introduced last year by Rishi Sunak MP, in his role as Chancellor, to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs. With the County Council acting as a gateway organisation to help local businesses and charities access the scheme in the county, 100 young people have now been taken onto the scheme. They have been matched with a diverse range of industries and organisations from teaching assistants, to marketing roles, site assistants and heritage maintenance workers.

The scheme is designed to open up high quality careers which young people might not have considered, or help them get into industries where opportunities would not have otherwise arisen.

Under the scheme, the Government pays the national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week during the six-month work placements and employers can top up the wage if they wish.

The County Council has acted as a gateway organisation, allowing employers to apply and access the Kickstart scheme through the council and putting in place employability support for small businesses and charities. The County Council directly employs 28 Kickstart candidates, but more than 100 other businesses have now signed up to the scheme in the county.

One of the most recent recruits, Izzie Scott, said the scheme has helped get her career on the right path. She was taken on by KPMS in Malton for help with digital marketing and has now created promotional videos featuring new products for the company, filmed a fire safety video and produced engaging content for the company’s social media platforms.

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond (Yorks) said; “The county council has done a tremendous job of assisting employers to ensure both they and the Kickstarters get maximum benefit from the scheme – and helping businesses to talent-spot the young people who could be their future stars.”

Growing our local econony

LEP News: The SME cyber threat landscape

  • Free webinar: 5 October 2021, 10am

This webinar from York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub will bring awareness to the growing risk of cyber-attacks and keep you informed about how to deal with the online threats that SMEs face. Read more information about the The SME cyber threat landscape webinar.

What International Opportunities Await Your Business?

  • Free webinar: Wednesday 13 October 2021, 12pm

The international opportunities for businesses are endless, but we understand that for many, the world can be difficult to navigate, and the first steps confusing. You may not even think there are opportunities available to you overseas. In this online session, the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub will provide an introduction on how to explore new international markets, with guidance provided by our experienced Business Relationship Managers and experts. Read more information about the What International Opportunities Await Your Business? webinar.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

We’ve seen so much kindness across North Yorkshire during this pandemic. That has been uplifting – though not surprising from North Yorkshire folk. So I know it’s not too much to ask for a little more. As we know, a little kindness goes a long way.

We’re launching a campaign, Respect & Protect, calling for that kindness to ease us through the next phase of the pandemic during autumn and winter. Covid-19 is still with us. North Yorkshire’s infection rate is 270 people per 100,000, higher than the England average of 264.

So as we go about our daily lives, some people will need reassurance that they are as safe as can be, they are supported and their choices – for example, to wear a face covering or maintain distance – are respected. That’s reassurance we can all give, at no cost to ourselves.

Simple steps we can take include:

  • Accept that some people want to carry on with social distancing.
  • Help people find their feet by looking out for neighbours and friends.
  • Suggest meeting outdoors in a quiet place for people who feel anxious.
  • Help people to go at their own pace and to seek support if they are lonely.
  • Get both doses of the vaccine, continue to test regularly and isolate if necessary.

Businesses, many having a tough time themselves, are giving customers confidence through safety measures, so please respect their efforts when deciding about facemasks and distancing.

Emma Simmons, owner of Salon 54 in Thirsk, tells us: “Most of our clients have been happy to respect other people in the salon. A lot of people who walk in without a mask see us wearing masks and other clients wearing masks and automatically put their mask on.” The salon uses alternate workstations, to give clients space, and limits appointments. “It has had an impact on business, but I feel for us and our clients that’s the best way at the moment,” says Emma.

It’s important to support the businesses that support us. Lucy Currie, who runs Evolve NCA gym in Northallerton, says: “Lots of us, including me, became a little reliant on major online retailers. If we can get people back onto the high street and show that we are being respectful of each other and are trying to protect each other, we can support local businesses.”

Read more about Respect and Protect.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 19 September 2021, there have been 56,708 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,599 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 228 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Close contacts and isolation

Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to book a PCR test. Everyone is encouraged to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Schools update

We continue to work closely with schools so that we can provide advice and support where needed. Reporting of linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) enables resources and attention to be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

Pupils and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home.

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace, and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

We have taken the opportunity of the start of the school term to remind education settings to refresh the key messages, which remain vitally important in reducing the risk of Covid transmission within schools.

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic testing

Working together towards recovery

Teamwork to support our residents

People previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable and at higher risk of being hospitalised as a result of Covid-19 will not be advised to shield again, after the Government announced last week that the shielding programme is ending following expert clinical advice. The closure of the shielding programme follows a pause to shielding guidance in April this year.

Since July, the guidance for people who were previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable has been to follow the same advice as everyone else, but with the suggestion of additional precautions such as avoiding crowded spaces.

The Government will write to people on the shielded patient list to let them know about the changes. They will also continue to assess the risks posed by Covid-19 and respond accordingly to keep people safe based on clinical advice.

Shielding was introduced in March 2020 to protect those most at risk of severe illness from Covid-19. In North Yorkshire, we made sure the thousands of people on the shielded patient list got the help they needed and continue to support people to regain their confidence.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been working alongside our partners with 23 community support organisations and the voluntary sector to provide a safety net of support which remains in place. Thousands of volunteers have helped with shopping, collecting medication, walking pets, taking people to medical appointments and being there for a friendly chat.

Anyone who needs help with things like shopping, collecting medication or other essentials because they are self-isolating and don’t have family, friends or neighbours to lean on can still contact our customer service centre on 01609 780780 seven days a week 8am-5:30pm.

Find information about the help available.

Supporting our schools and childcare

We are working closely with school leaders and Public Health to provide a range of support for schools in dealing with issues relating to the ongoing management of Covid in schools and the offer of vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds.

On Monday of this week, Public Health’s immunisation team held a webinar for education leaders to talk through the vaccination process and the part schools will play in it.

The offer of vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds is Government policy and an NHS programme and schools are required by the Government to provide a site for the vaccinations and to distribute information and consent forms about the programme.

Parental consent is required for any pupil to receive the vaccination. If a parent or carer consents to their child having the vaccination, the response will be sent electronically to the immunisation team and the immunisation team will not vaccine anyone where there are differences in view from parents or young people.

National guidance around the follow-up arrangements which may offer different opportunities in this scenario is expected, but parents are assured that in the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds, parental consent will be necessary for the vaccination to go ahead.

We are reminding parents, via communication from schools, that any objections to the programme should be made appropriately through the correct channels. While we recognise people have the right to express their views in a peaceful way, any behaviour which impacts on children’s feelings of safety in school, disrupts their education or involves threats to school staff will not be tolerated and will be a matter for the police.

North Yorkshire County Council has shared a designated email address for school leaders where they can find advice or guidance on protests and are working closely with educational settings and North Yorkshire Police to make sure the response to any protest is proportionate.

Growing our local econony

LEP News: New LEP website and Festival of Engagement launch

Bring your voice to a greener, fairer and stronger future – join York & North Yorkshire LEP at one or more of our many events across our Festival of Engagement, which runs until January.

Save the date for the LEP Annual Conference – 26 November, 10am to noon. More information and booking details to follow. Find out more by visiting our newly refreshed website.

New email addresses

Along with our new website address ynylep.com, the email addresses for the York & North Yorkshire LEP team will be [forename.surname]@ynylep.com

General enquiries can be sent to enquiries@ynylep.com

As well as this change, the Growth Hub team's email addresses will now be [forename.surname]@ynygrowthhub.com

General business support enquiries can be sent to support@ynygrowthhub.com

Don't worry, we'll also receive emails on our previous addresses for the time being.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

As we enjoy getting out and about these warm sunny days at the back end of the summer and as our schools begin their new year, I am sure none of us want the Prime Minister to have to resort to plan B of his Covid winter plans, announced yesterday.

None of us want a return of restrictions because high Covid-19 infection rates are overwhelming the NHS and indeed we can all play our part in a number of small but important ways to try to avoid such an eventuality.

Our Respect & Protect campaign aims to encourage people to continue to show consideration by continuing to wear face masks indoors where we feel this can help to protect  others; to think about keeping inside spaces well ventilated when we are with numbers of other people; to show kindness to other people who may not feel as confident as ourselves when carrying out normal daily tasks.  They all contribute to the team effort in keeping each other safe and well.  The headline Covid infection rate in North Yorkshire, as in Yorkshire and the North East, is still relatively high and above the England average so we are by no means out of the woods.

We have come a long way over the last 18 months and we want to keep that going. When we hear stories, like that at our Covid-19 press conference today of Will Wale who runs the North Yorkshire joinery business Scawton Kitchens  and who was called upon by the NHS during the first wave of the pandemic to make coffins for the people who died of Covid in London, we realise the difference the vaccination programme has made in saving lives.  It is vitally important therefore that we all come forward to be doubly vaccinated – our best line of defence. 

There are other pressures of course as we enjoy the opening up of the economy and as shops and pubs and distribution businesses seek to recruit in a very competitive jobs market.  Across the UK as in our county, the social care sector in particular is facing an unprecedented recruitment crisis. So while we welcome the Prime Minister’s social care plans to deal with the unexpected costs people have faced around paying for their care, we await the urgent need for Government to address the widespread workforce pressures now facing the sector.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 14th September 2021, there have been 55,121 positive tests since 3rd March 2020, with 1,553 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 222 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The 7-day rate for North Yorkshire was 318.4 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England 7-day rate of 295.8.  Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Close contacts and isolation

Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to book a PCR test. Everyone is encouraged to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Schools update

We continue to work closely with schools so that we can provide advice and support where needed. Reporting of linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) will enable resources and attention to be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

Pupils and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home.

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace, and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

We have taken the opportunity of the start of the school term to remind education settings to refresh the key messages, which remain vitally important in reducing the risk of Covid transmission within schools.

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic testing

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Supporting our schools and childcare

The Government announced yesterday that all 12 to 15-year-olds are to be offered the Pfizer vaccination. This is expected to happen soon and the NHS is currently working with Public Health, health and safety experts and school vaccination teams to offer a school-based vaccination programme any time from next week onwards.

Parental consent will be sought, as with existing vaccination programmes.

Lateral Flow Testing for asymptomatic cases of Covid is expected to continue for the time being, certainly for the rest of the term.

We’re very grateful for the response of students who have continued with the testing programme for Covid and the responsible way they have approached this over the course of the term and the academic year.

Schools have now fully returned after the summer break and we are continuing to make sure they have access to Health and Safety experts and are supporting them to put their bespoke risk assessments together with the help of templates in line with Government guidance.

As students return, schools in North Yorkshire are working hard to ensure that pupils catch up on any lost learning and that they continue to progress academically.

This includes using tutors through both the National Tutoring Programme and their own tutors, as well as purchasing additional educational resources to support children who need to catch up. They are also focusing on supporting the wellbeing of pupils and the work force.

Many schools are looking forward to bringing back activities which had to be put to one side over the past year. They include Mowbray Special School, North Yorkshire’s largest special school with approximately 290 pupils across its two sites in Ripon and Bedale.

The children at Mowbray are aged from three to 16 and have a variety of different needs, from severe learning difficulties to severe autism. The school stayed open throughout the pandemic to support children and families, but is now able to bring back activities such as swimming at the local leisure centre and outdoor learning, to the delight of pupils.

Some measures which worked well for the pupils will remain in place, which includes continuing to be taught in bubbles and continuing to make Teams meetings and virtual meetings available to parents, alongside the imminent reintroduction of face-to-face meetings. The school has a large catchment, with children arriving in school on bus, but often living as far afield as Stockton, Cumbria and Selby. Having the option of virtual meetings was something many parents valued.

Headteacher Jonathan Tearle said: “This September all our children are back, enjoying life in school and happy to see their friends and we are all looking forward to the next academic year.

“I’m very, very grateful to all our staff and how they have coped, especially our senior staff who are working very long hours to make sure we can keep our classes running and running safely.”

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

It was heartening to hear today from one of the county’s head teachers about how much students are enjoying being back at school and the positive start to the new school year.

Julia Polley, head teacher at Wensleydale School, shared details of the successful return and the systems in place to keep everyone safe, but also happy and stimulated. No doubt, this is a story being repeated in schools across our county.

The new term brought greater freedom for students, said Julia, but there was still an eye to caution, for example in making sure face masks are worn on buses.

Some measures introduced in response to the pandemic have been retained, such as lunchtime arrangements, which has created time for children to choose enriching activities ranging from sailing and geocaching to knitting and dancing.

In addition, the school production is back – High School Musical in April, should anyone want tickets – and a ski trip and visit to France are planned for next year.

“We are trying to make things as normal as possible for everyone,” said Julia. “The kids are an absolute delight, they like being back, they are well behaved and are following the guidance. It has become routine, it’s no big deal, the students just get on with it.”

Schools are a community, of course, and we heard another story this week that demonstrates how you get out of your community what you put in.

When the pandemic hit, Cooper King Distillery, a sustainable distillery in Sutton-on-the-Forest, lost 75% of its trade.

But within a week or so, it responded to demand for hand sanitiser, producing and donating it to health services as well as local people. From there, the company devised a strategy to sell to businesses and the public and use those profits to maintain a free supply to the NHS, care homes and schools.

In the year since, the community has repaid that support.

Co-founder and director Chris Jaume said: “Lots of people we donated sanitiser to came back to us to buy gin. It was really lovely to get that support. The communities we supplied have told us what we contributed was invaluable and we were sent some really heartrending messages of thanks.”

The future now looks good for the company, which has been able to take on more staff and develop new projects and collaborations.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 5 September 2021, there have been 53,195 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 2,012 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 287 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire was 353.7 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 328.6. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Close contacts and isolation

Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. Everyone is encouraged to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Schools return for autumn term

All secondary school pupils are undertaking two on-site lateral flow device (LFD) tests three to five days apart, on their return in the autumn term. Pupils and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when a review will take place.

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace (as above) and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

We have taken the opportunity of the start of the school term to remind education settings to refresh the key messages:

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic testing

We will continue to work closely with schools to provide an accurate picture of positive cases, and to track the development of infection across the county as students and staff return to education settings. Reporting of linked cases of coronavirus within school communities (staff and students) is vital, so that resources and attention can be focused in areas of greatest need in a timely manner. 

Supporting our schools and childcare

It’s wonderful to see pupils back in school across the county and returning to their learning.

The majority of pupils returned to the classroom in North Yorkshire on Tuesday, September 7, with some schools staggering the start date across the week as secondary pupils tested for coronavirus.

Our priority for this school year is to keep as many children in school as possible, as we know the detrimental impact on their educational attainment from being away from the classroom, as well as the impact on their emotional, physical and mental health.

We have worked with Public Health, head teachers and government guidelines to review all the policies and procedures are in place to ensure a safe return to the classroom.

But we are starting the term with a sense of optimism and hope.

Many schools are looking forward to an exciting year of opportunities ahead and the return of activities such as school productions, school trips and other events which had to be placed on hold.

Schools such as Wensleydale School in Leyburn have found some of the changes made during the pandemic have been beneficial to pupils and will continuing with the adjustments. During the pandemic, the school split the lunchtime, which shortened the midday break and allowed the school to reschedule its timetable. This extra time has allowed them to introduce an enrichment programme of more than 50 different activities for students for three to four hours a week.

The programme was created after speaking to students, to provide students with the activities they have thought about the most during the pandemic, as well as provide them with opportunities for socialising and enrichment. The activities include geocaching, knitting, dancing, sailing, walking and photography. There is also a musical production planned and a ski trip in 2022.

Head teacher Julia Polley said: “I feel we are in a really, really good place. The most important thing is we’re as covid-safe as we can be. We’re monitoring all the time, but planning is pivotal.

“We’re delighted to be back and we’re trying to make things as normal as possible for everyone.”

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

Young people are in the spotlight again as they prepare to return to school while further efforts are made to encourage more to take up both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Cases remain high across North Yorkshire, with an average of 312 per 100,000 people, slightly above the England average of 306. While this is not driving the high level of hospitalisations we saw earlier, people can still become very ill, even outside hospital.

The vaccination programme in the county is going well, with recent good progress on targeting younger age groups, but we need to think about those high rates.

Schools are about to go back. This time last year, the rates before schools went back and worse weather arrived were considerably lower than those we see now. Last year, we saw another big spike in cases, so we need to be very aware that that can still happen.

That said, we have heard positive words this week from young people and head teachers.

Student Erin, 16, said she felt an obligation and duty to protect not only herself but also the elderly and vulnerable, and that vaccination felt like the country stitching itself back together. She told us she was motivated to act partly to counter misinformation on social media. All her friends had been vaccinated, she said.

Several of our head teachers told of the preparations being made and praised their communities for the amazing support throughout the pandemic.

Colburn Community Primary head Jane Knowlson said some systems introduced during the pandemic would be kept because they helped to create a calmer learning environment. For example, children enjoyed eating lunch with their year group and working and playing with their own equipment.

Ian Mottram, head of Le Cateau Primary, said the school would be as near normal as possible, but added that many systems put in place had become helpful and supported children.

Emma Lambden, head of Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, said a big challenge had been working in bubbles. Now, students would have to get used to again working how they used to, with the hope that there would be no need to return to bubbles.

So, we are moving forward, learning to live with Covid, but we remain in a risky environment where we all can and should do our bit to support each other, whether that is getting both jabs, wearing face coverings where it’s appropriate or just washing our hands regularly.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 30 August 2021, there have been 50,925 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,609 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 230 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire was 312.1 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 306.5. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

Schools return for autumn term

All secondary school pupils will undertake two on-site lateral flow device (LFD) tests three to five days apart, on their return in the autumn term. Settings can begin testing from three working days before the start of term and can stagger return of pupils across the first week. Pupils and staff should continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when a review will take place.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the vaccine.
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing where possible, when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Supporting our schools and childcare

As schools prepare to welcome students back to the classroom, we would like to thank head teachers, teachers and support staff for all their hard work in getting us to this point.

The vast majority of schools in North Yorkshire reopen to pupils on Tuesday. Many of the previous restrictions in schools have been lifted, with the priority of the updated national guidelines focusing on delivering face-to-face education for all pupils. Evidence shows that being out of the classroom harms educational attainment, life chances and mental and physical health in children and young people.

School bubbles will no longer be needed, but in very limited circumstances they may be brought back temporarily, if needed.

Anyone under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with the virus, but will be strongly advised to take a PCR test.

Those school pupils aged 16 or over can also now get a vaccine and are encouraged to do so as soon as they can.

They include 16-year-old York student, Erin, who has just had the vaccine. She said getting the vaccine gave her and her peers some power and control over their situation and protected those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Schools will continue to update and review covid risk assessments and put proportionate measures in place, such as maintaining hygiene and cleaning regimes and good ventilation in classrooms. Face coverings will also be recommended for pupils aged 11 and over on public or school transport.

Head teachers in some North Yorkshire schools said some of the adjustments they made during the pandemic proved popular with pupils and helped with their learning, so they will be integrating them into every day teaching.

They include schools such as Le Cateau Primary School in Catterick Garrison, which said it found keeping teaching assistants based with the same, small year groups, rather than moving them across the school site, had reduced disruption for pupils and proved popular.

But schools agree that pupils and staff are looking forward to resuming uninterrupted, face-to-face teaching again.

Ian Mottram, head teacher of Le Cateau Primary School, said: “For anyone in school that’s why we’re there; to see the children and get them engaged and learning.”

Growing our local economy

Help to Grow: Management programme

The Government has launched the Help to Grow: Management programme. As part of the Plan for Jobs, courses will help senior leaders of small and medium businesses to lead their businesses to their full potential.

The Help to Grow management training programme offers one-to-one mentoring for senior business leaders of small and medium businesses. The 12-week programme costs £750 and is 90 per cent subsidised by the Government as part of the Plan for Jobs. It is delivered across the UK by leading business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter.​​​​​​

You can find the upcoming courses in the North here.

Help to Grow: Management Programme by Business Services at the University of Derby

Coronavirus job retention scheme reminder

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end on 30 September. Businesses are encouraged to submit their claims for September by the deadline of 14 October and any amendments must be made by 28 October.

Find out more about the Coronavirus job retention scheme.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

We’re on a journey, one leading us towards living with Covid. We have to accept that the virus is still with us and will be for some time. We must adapt to living as well and as normally as we can in these circumstances.

In doing so, we much not lose sight of the qualities that have brought us this far through the pandemic: respect, consideration and kindness.

I know a large majority of people continue to wear face coverings where appropriate and respect others’ desire for distance.

But we heard this week from a couple of businesses doing all they can to succeed in this new climate while keeping customers and staff safe, and some of what they had to say was uncomfortable.

Jessica Barker runs The Thief Hall, a wedding venue at Thornton-le-Moor. Since the easing of restrictions, she has a packed diary of weddings and has tripled her staff, from three to nine, to enable them to work in teams, with testing and time between each of their weddings to minimise the risk of infection to themselves and wedding guests.

As a precaution, Jessica asks all guests to provide a negative lateral flow test before attending. While all the couples she deals with have understood that a safe wedding for them means a safe wedding for the next couple, some guests have reacted angrily, refusing to take a test and swearing at Jessica and her staff.

Andrew Newton, owner of Twiggy’s indoor play in Thirsk, tells a similar story. While the vast majority of customers understand the simple safety measures in place, he says a small minority react aggressively, turning on staff with abusive tirades.

This is not who we are in North Yorkshire, and certainly not who we need to be if we are to live well with Covid and see our communities and businesses flourish.

Respect, consideration and kindness take little effort and benefit us all. Those are three words to take into this bank holiday weekend, when residents and visitors will be enjoying the many attractions our beautiful county offers.

Please recognise that people are at different stages of the journey towards living with covid and may appreciate those around them taking simple hygiene and face covering precautions and giving them a little more space.

And if you find your destination crowded, perhaps look for somewhere quieter. Not only will that reduce the infection risk, you might have a better time, too. Please enjoy the best possible bank holiday, in the safest possible way.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 22 August 2021, there have been 48,722 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,701 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 243 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 306.4 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England seven-day rate of 326.6. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms
  • Continue to follow social distancing where possible, when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air

Working together towards recovery

Suicide Prevention webinar: Thursday 9 September – 1pm to 2pm

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place on Friday 10 September, the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board (NYSAB), North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NYSCP) and North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership will host a webinar on suicide prevention on Thursday 9 September.

This webinar is for professionals only. However, it will be recorded and once reviewed, will be shared on the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board website.

Book a place on the webinar.

Root out racism

North Yorkshire County Council is backing an anti-racism movement launched in West Yorkshire and Harrogate earlier this week.

The movement has been co-created by more than 100 ethnic minority colleagues from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP), to challenge racism across all aspects of society.

This follows our own countywide commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality for all, made by county councillors at their most recent meeting.

Read more about how North Yorkshire gives backing to anti-racism movement.

Supporting our schools and childcare

Under updated guidelines from the Department for Education and Public Health England, there will no longer be a need for bubbles or classes to self-isolate, unless they have tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, we are expecting to see much less disruption to children’s time in the classroom when the majority of schools return on September 7.

Schools will still have plans in place to manage an outbreak if necessary and will continue with updated health and safety assessments to make sure students and staff are as safe as possible. This should see hygiene measures such as increased hand washing and cleaning continue in school. But the bubble system and use of face masks will no longer be needed in day-to-day teaching. Staff and students of secondary school age will complete at least one coronavirus test before their return to school to reduce the risk of transmission.

Our education services are reviewing all Department for Education and Public Health guidance as it is updated to make sure our schools are fully supported as they plan for the new term.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school in September, hopefully rested and refreshed after the summer break.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: New programme of business support webinars launched by the Growth Hub

The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub has launched a new programme of free business support webinars starting in September and running until March 2022. New events will be added to the website regularly. However, the following events in September are available to book now:

7 September – Is starting a business right for you?

Thinking of starting a business but not sure if now is the right time or whether you have a viable idea? Want to get an understanding of what it takes to run your own enterprise?

This webinar with start-up experts Blue Orchid aims to answer your questions, help you think about where to start and understand some of the nuts and bolts of getting started. You can find out more and book your place on is starting a business right for you

15 September – Engaging and supporting a hybrid team

As hybrid working becomes the new normal for many of us, it can be a challenge to effectively support and motivate your team. 

This webinar with Michelle Mook, founder of employee engagement and people development support specialists Pro-Development, will identify strategies to help you engage your team, communicate effectively, and promote productivity when working remotely. You can find out more and book your place on engaging and supporting a hybrid team

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

As we reach the end of the road map on Covid restrictions, North Yorkshire’s community support organisations have this week described being ‘staggered’ by people’s generosity and acts of kindness as they look back at the great volunteering effort during the pandemic.

We saw an immense volunteer taskforce take shape in North Yorkshire from March last year when the first lockdown restrictions began and 23 of our voluntary groups took on the momentous role of working with us to coordinate support for the thousands of people isolated by Covid. 

For many of these groups the task of coordinating the support of hundreds of extra volunteers who had come forward to offer their time was a new experience.  But all of them have risen brilliantly to the challenge.

Statistics collected by our Stronger Communities team tell of tens of thousands of shopping trips, food deliveries, befriending phone calls and wellbeing checks made by people volunteering in North Yorkshire. And there were countless other acts of kindness carried out as people looked out for friends, family and neighbours.

At our press conference today Neil Bradbury, CEO of the Scarborough division of Age UK said: “We weren’t expecting the outpouring of support from the community. I don’t know why – we know the community are supportive and positive – but it still knocks you out to see how much the community are willing to give.”

Chris Hailey-Norris, chief officer of Selby District Association of Voluntary Service, said he had been “staggered” at the level of kindness and generosity from people coming forward and the scale of the response, describing it as the district’s “finest hour”.

It is indeed an episode in North Yorkshire’s history which we can all be very proud of and we are confident that our long tradition of volunteering in this county will go on.

Government guidelines on self-isolating have now changed with people who have been fully vaccinated no longer needing to self-isolate 14 days after their second dose. 

Despite the lifting of some restrictions on self-isolating, we ask that people are still mindful of others and remember the guidance that is still in place. This includes self-isolating and getting a PCR test if you have any covid symptoms – even if you have had both doses of the vaccine - and continuing with basic but important hygiene measures such as hand washing.

In North Yorkshire, 514,000 people have now had their second dose of the vaccine and 75 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds have had their first dose of the vaccine. The vaccination of 16 and 17 year olds has also now begun with 18% in the county already vaccinated with their first dose. This is great progress and we hope to see this number climb even higher as weeks go on.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 15 August 2021, there have been 46,811 positive tests since 3rd March 2020, with 1,501 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 214 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The 7-day rate for North Yorkshire is 266.6 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England 7-day rate of 307.1.  Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms
  • Continue to follow social distancing where possible, when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air

Working together towards recovery

Teamwork to support our residents

Some people are more at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 than others, and not everyone is confident about being out and about as restrictions ease.

Government advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is to continue taking extra precautions to protect themselves, such as meeting friends and family outside, using online deliveries for shopping or going at quieter times of the day. Lots of residents are nervous about going shopping or being around lots of people, and are still being supported by friends and family or in some cases volunteers.

For the last 18 months, we’ve been working alongside our partners with 23 community support organisations and the voluntary sector to provide a safety net of support during the pandemic. Thousands of volunteers have helped with shopping, collecting medication, walking pets, taking people to medical appointments and being there for a friendly chat.

It's staggering to reflect on what’s been achieved, with volunteers giving over 137,000 hours over their time to help and support people across the county. 19,800 prescriptions have been delivered, 18,000 phone check-ins and 32,000 befriending calls made, almost 30,000 shopping trips completed and 1,800 pets looked after.

Neil Bradbury, CEO at AGE UK Scarborough and District said: “There’s so much we’ve learned in what’s been an amazingly difficult year, I would pay tribute to all of my colleagues and the volunteers who, despite worries and concerns and difficulties of their own, stepped up and were counted and got stuck in. Many of them are able to look back at this as their finest hour and a time when they can be really proud of themselves and what they did.”

Chris Hailey-Norris, Chief Officer Selby District AVS, added: “It’s continued to keep my faith in what people are able to do in times of great adversity. It’s been staggering to see the kindness and generosity of spirit and energy. The flexibility I’ve seen from people, our staff team and volunteer team and other people in the community. That can do attitude. Being able to work through the pandemic in such a positive way to make North Yorkshire shine. What a great team to be a part of.”

If you need help with things like shopping, collecting medication or other essentials while you’re self-isolating please contact family, friends, neighbours or groups you belong to and let them know how they can support you. If you don’t have anyone to lean on, you can contact our customer service centre on 01609 780780 seven days a week 8am-5:30pm. Find information about the help available, including self-isolation support payments.

Supporting our schools and childcare

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its Covid guidance for schools, colleges and early years settings with suggestions on how and when to tackle outbreaks. We will continue to work with schools in North Yorkshire on their risk assessments and appropriate safety measures.

Following a Government announcement, the school bubble system will no longer be required when schools return in September, meaning children and young people can mix again at break times and school assemblies can resume.

However, school risk assessments still remain a legal requirement and appropriate safety measures are expected to remain in place in schools, which includes hygiene measures such as regular hand washing, cleaning regimes in school buildings and good ventilation in classrooms.

Schools will also have outbreak management plans and can reinstate face masks and the bubble system for short periods in the event of an outbreak.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Watch now: 10 questions to ask yourself when starting a business

If you’re about to embark on your new venture, have you asked yourself some important questions? Watch our new video to find out what you should think about and download our handy toolkit that includes planning resources, finance templates and a check list to get you started. Watch the video and download your pack here.

Register today: Free webinar - Is starting a business right for you?

Tuesday 7 September, 10am

Thinking of starting a business but not sure if now is the right time or whether you have a viable idea? Want to get an understanding of what it takes to run your own enterprise?

This webinar with start-up experts Blue Orchid aims to answer your questions, help you think about where to start and understand some of the nuts and bolts of getting started. You can find out more and book your place here

Enrol for September or November: 10-day award winning start-up course with Rebel Business School

Run over two weeks, this practical workshop explores a new topic every day including how to start with no money, sales and marketing, legal, networking, and keeping motivated, as well as provides live business coaching. The following dates are available to book via our website now:

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

After many difficult months for everyone, it was refreshing to see this week as one of celebration and opportunity.

Many of the county’s young people received excellent news in their A-level results yesterday and, I am confident, many more will do so tomorrow when GCSE results are announced. The few who have not achieved the results they wanted should not despair. Support is available through their school and elsewhere.

One of the county’s head teachers, Kathryn Stephenson, of Boroughbridge High School, spoke of her pride in the students.

“We have been impressed by the resilience of our young people, who have worked through two lockdowns as well as working really hard in school. There has been absolute commitment by students and staff. Yesterday was a very positive day.”

The school’s deputy head girl, Kirsten Brocklesby, who gained three A* A-levels and will study at Bristol University, said the past 18 months had been difficult, but everyone worked together and the teachers were amazing.

“Now that I have got through it, I realise how much resilience we all showed and I know now how to keep going through really hard times,” she said. “I will take that thought with me.”

One option for young people who perhaps didn’t get what they hoped for could be Kickstart, a national initiative to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs. One North Yorkshire employer taking part is Chopsticks, a charity that works with people with learning disabilities. It has taken on three people under the scheme.

Tracy Taylor, of Chopsticks, said: “For these young people, it often comes down to lack of confidence and thinking they don’t have skills to get a job. We have offered those skills. These young people now realise that they can achieve their goals, they have skills they didn’t realise they had. It is a fantastic scheme and hopefully more employers will take it on.”

Read more about Kickstart.

The Covid-19 infection rate across the county seems to have plateaued. The rate is 269 per 100,000 people, against an England average of 299. This is still high and pressures continue on health and social care services, so our message remains “respect and protect”. Please continue to wear face coverings, practise good hand hygiene, give people space and get plenty of fresh air.

We currently have 48 care homes with cases of Covid-19, and these remain extremely challenging times for health and social care. The level of demand for hospitals, primary care, community health services and social care is exceptional.

But while the challenges are great, so are the opportunities and rewards. If you are interested in working in social care or health services, we would love to hear from you.

Look for more details from the NHS or Make Care Matter.

Public health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 8 August 2021, there have been 45,148 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,483 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 225 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 269.2 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England seven-day rate of 296. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms
  • Continue to follow social distancing where possible, when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Guildhall project to offer space and support to entrepreneurs

The University of York has signed a 15-year lease of the Guildhall, which will bring the historic building back to the forefront of the city’s social, business and civic life

The building will be leased to York Science Park (YSPL), a subsidiary of the University of York. York Science Park offer support for entrepreneurs and start-ups looking to grow.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live and work. In response to these changes, the Guildhall will provide a flexible and collaborative workspace for local businesses.

Learn more about the Guildhall project.

HM Treasury fundamental review of business rates

The government committed to conduct a fundamental review of business rates and published the terms of reference for the review in the spring budget.

There is a live consultation that seeks the views of businesses on matters such as the frequency of revaluations. This consultation closes on 24 August.

We encourage all businesses with views on business rates to respond to the business rates consultation.

Universal Credit for the self-employed

The rules for self-employed people claiming Universal Credit were temporarily changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. After 31 July 2021, the pre-pandemic rules will start to be applied again in terms of how to report your self-employed income and expenses to Universal Credit every month.

Find out more about universal Credit for the self-employed.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

We’re well into the school holidays and many people are taking their summer break in North Yorkshire. That’s no surprise, we have a beautiful county and we welcome visitors.

From being out and about, it’s clear many people continue to wear face coverings and keep up hand hygiene, and many businesses continue to ask customers to observe precautions. That makes a difference, and supports our message to respect and protect ourselves and each other.

The Covid-19 infection rate is falling – North Yorkshire’s average is 251 per 100,000 people, compared to an England average of 282 – but this is still high and it’s too early to be sure we’re seeing a sustained trend.

I’ve said it many times, but vaccination is our best protection. Uptake in North Yorkshire is good, but to anyone who has not yet come forward, irrespective of age, please do so and get both doses.

Much has been said about encouraging young people to get the jab, and we heard from Dr Abbie Brooks, a GP with the Priory Medical Group in York. She has seen young people presenting with troubling symptoms, and to young people she said: “Definitely get vaccinated. If you want to talk about it before you get your jab, there are clinicians and pharmacists who can talk you through the pros and cons and benefits.

“Some people might feel unwell for a day or two afterwards, but the vaccines are safe and they can protect you from being so unwell. And also, if you are not doubly vaccinated there are going to be implications around travel and self-isolation going forward.”

Dr Uwe Franke, an intensive care consultant at James Cook Hospital, says almost all cases the hospital sees are the Delta variant and he, too, is seeing younger patients, most of whom are unvaccinated or have had only one dose.

“Please do get double-vaccinated,” he said. “It does make a difference. We see a huge risk if this Delta variant keeps circulating and replicating in the population.”

Find information on vaccination, including details of walk-in clinics near you.

While we work to support the county’s progress through the pandemic, we are also moving ahead from the Government’s decision that North Yorkshire will have a single new council from 2023 and are beginning to bring people together to build that council.

Dedicated, skilled staff across the existing eight councils will come together into one workforce, joining up all the everyday services to make life easier for everyone. This will align everything from planning, roads and housing to job opportunities, education and skills and will support health, leisure, culture and more, enriching lives and offering opportunities.

So let’s continue to work together, as we have so well over the past 18 months, to put this pandemic behind us and build a future the realises our great county’s potential.

Public Health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 1 August 2021, there have been 43,471 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,409 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 201 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 251.9 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England seven-day rate of 282.6. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Changes to the sexual health service – have your say

Since 2015, North Yorkshire County Council has had a formal agreement with York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which provides sexual health services on our behalf as Yorsexualhealth.

A consultation began this week asking for views on proposals to make changes to the service. The proposals are in light of the public health grant reducing and the changing way people have been using the service as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consultation runs until 4 October. Please have your say on this important service.

Read the proposals and fill in the survey.

Read more about the consultation.

Supporting our schools and childcare

The Kickstart scheme

More than 100 North Yorkshire employers have now signed-up to a scheme designed to improve employment opportunities for young people.

The Kickstart scheme is a national initiative introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Richmond MP Rishi Sunak last year to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs.

It was part of an emergency package announced to off-set the impact of the pandemic on young people, when it became clear they were most likely to be in jobs affected by the pandemic.

In North Yorkshire, more than 100 employers are now offering hundreds of Kickstart job placements to young people. They include work placements as nursery nurses, site assistants, teaching assistants, dispensing pharmacy placements and even as heritage maintenance workers, restoring and transforming local historic sites for community benefit.

Under the scheme, the Government pays the national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week during the six-month work placement and employers can top up the wage, if they wish.

North Yorkshire County Council has acted as a gateway organisation, allowing employers to apply and access the Kickstart scheme through the council and putting in place employability support for small businesses and charities.

The County Council has appointed 83 Kickstart candidates in this way, directly employing 28.

On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited Kickstart candidates in Northallerton, calling in on a number of them at County Hall, as well as visiting the charity Chopsticks in the town, which has taken on three Kickstart participants.

If you are an employer looking to provide a Kickstart job in North Yorkshire, find out more about Kickstart.

Holiday club programme

A holiday club programme for children and young people in the county has enjoyed a strong start, with 44 organisations signing up to provide drama, sports sessions, cookery and art activities.

The sessions help children to stay active, healthy and socially connected over the summer holidays, as well as giving them an opportunity to develop new skills and try new experiences.

The activities are open to all children in North Yorkshire, but are free to children who would normally receive benefits-related free school meals during term time and include a hot meal or packed lunch each day. Eligible families will also get a booklet with ideas and inspiration for holiday activities.

There are also activities for families of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which will include day trips to North Yorkshire venues and attractions.

Funding for the scheme has come from the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The County Council has commissioned North Yorkshire Together, a partnership between Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth, to run the programme in the county, under the banner of FEAST North Yorkshire.

For further ideas to keep children active and creative over the summer holidays, families can visit the North Yorkshire Together website, where there are ideas and video tutorials, as well as details of activities in your area happening across the county.

Growing our local economy

Small Business Peer Network

Would you like more support in your small business? Do you wish you had a group of like-minded people who “had your back” and could support your vision to grow your business? The Small Business Peer Network, facilitated by Andrea Morrison and Philip Bolson and fully funded by Y&NY Growth Hub, could be for you! Find out more about the Small business peer network.

Specialist Skills Support Programme

The European Social Fund-funded Specialist Skills Support Programme is providing the opportunity for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding-based SMEs to access specialist consultancy, support, advice and training around a number of key issues facing small businesses right now. The programme will run until at least October 2022. Find out more about Specialist Skills Support Programme

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Supporting our schools and childcare

Our children’s services have been praised by Ofsted for the way it has supported North Yorkshire’s most vulnerable children during pandemic.

The inspectorate is currently looking into how England’s social care system has provided services and care for children and young people since the outbreak of Covid-19. In June, inspectors looked at North Yorkshire’s children’s services in a focused visit on help and protection.

It found that, despite the expected increase in the number of children being referred to local authorities during the pandemic, vulnerable children were protected and supported, stating that “vulnerable children received effective services from skilled and compassionate professionals that protects, helps and supports them.”

Our Children’s Services are currently rated Outstanding and the inspectors concluded that children’s services have “continued to develop positively since the last inspection”, with improved outcomes for most children and low numbers of children needing to be brought into care due to the extensive support and resources in place for families.

The outcome is testimony to the hard work of many individuals who work hard to make sure families are fully supported and children in North Yorkshire have the best possible outcomes, regardless of their circumstances. That includes everyone often behind the scenes who support our teams and our passionate and compassionate front line workers who have sat alongside families, often at their lowest ebb, throughout this pandemic.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Rimla Akhtar OBE - Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion

Join the next Women In Business online event on the 28 July with a special speaker Rimla Akhtar OBE talking about her contribution to diversity and inclusion. Rimla is that rare individual who has lived global business and elite sport and in 2021 was awarded an OBE in addition to the MBE received in 2015. Find out more and register to attend the Women In Business online event.

Bioeconomy: how renewable resources can help the future of our planet

BioVale has been heavily involved in developing an online Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for the University of York on the Bioeconomy: how renewable resources can help the future of our planet. This three-week course (starting from 26th July) will give participants an understanding on what a bioeconomy is and which sectors it includes. Find out more about Bioeconomy.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

The last week has brought key developments for our county.

Firstly we were given the news that the Government has decided on a single unitary council for North Yorkshire meaning the county and district councils can begin to work together as one on the future delivery of public services. 

Never have we needed a unified approach and strong voice more than we do now as we strive to deliver better life chances for everyone here, while working hard with partners and businesses to drive post-Covid economic recovery.

It also allows us to deliver on our promise to empower local communities including town and parish councils and local groups and to work with them to develop plans and people focussed networks around our market towns. Local decision making and action will be a key feature of the new council.

Secondly, we now see Covid rates falling across North Yorkshire, as across England, so perhaps we can be forgiven for a bout of optimism.

After the past few weeks of soaring rates, our county is now in line with the lower England average. Though rates are still as high as they were at the peak of the pandemic last January and it is too early to tell if this is a sustained downward trend, rates do appear to be heading in the right direction.

That means of course that we should carry on with the good work. 

It is clear as you walk around the streets of North Yorkshire’s towns and villages that people are sticking with Covid-safety precautions to protect and respect others; they are wearing face masks, they are meeting outdoors whenever possible and they are keeping homes and work places well ventilated with open doors and windows. 

We can all continue to play our part by encouraging more of our younger people to do their bit too and get the vaccine – it remains the best protection against Covid-19 for all of us.  There are walk-in sites around the county to make this as easy as possible.

At our Local Resilience Forum press conference today, it was great to hear Charles Allen, a member of the team organising the Deer Shed Festival near Thirsk which starts on Friday, setting out the vast array of Covid protection measures being taken to keep the highly successful Deer Shed in this year’s national festival calendar - impressive and reassuring to see.

And as we allow ourselves to relax into summer, let’s keep safe in other ways. With the staycation market booming and the warm weather tempting people into the waters of our beautiful coastline, rivers and lakes, tragically there have been a spate of deaths around the country.

Tony Peel, station manager of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue reminded everybody at our press conference of the current water safety campaign. He outlined the dos and don’ts of open water swimming including key advice never to swim alone, always take somebody with you; to check the conditions of the water before you enter - how cold the temperature, how strong the currents -   and if you are drinking alcohol, stay out of the water altogether.  Enjoy the waters, but take good care!

Public Health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 25 July 2021, there have been 41,942 positive tests since 3rd March 2020, with 2,000 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 286 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The 7-day rate for North Yorkshire is 376.2 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England 7-day rate of 372.6.  Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Supporting our schools and childcare

Our children’s services have been praised by Ofsted for the way it has supported North Yorkshire’s most vulnerable children during pandemic.

The inspectorate is currently looking into how England’s social care system has provided services and care for children and young people since the outbreak of Covid-19. In June, inspectors looked at North Yorkshire’s children’s services in a focused visit on help and protection.

It found that, despite the expected increase in the number of children being referred to local authorities during the pandemic, vulnerable children were protected and supported, stating that “vulnerable children received effective services from skilled and compassionate professionals that protects, helps and supports them.”

Our Children’s Services are currently rated Outstanding and the inspectors concluded that children’s services have “continued to develop positively since the last inspection”, with improved outcomes for most children and low numbers of children needing to be brought into care due to the extensive support and resources in place for families.

The outcome is testimony to the hard work of many individuals who work hard to make sure families are fully supported and children in North Yorkshire have the best possible outcomes, regardless of their circumstances. That includes everyone often behind the scenes who support our teams and our passionate and compassionate front line workers who have sat alongside families, often at their lowest ebb, throughout this pandemic.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Rimla Akhtar OBE - Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion

Join the next Women In Business online event on the 28 July with a special speaker Rimla Akhtar OBE talking about her contribution to diversity and inclusion. Rimla is that rare individual who has lived global business and elite sport and in 2021 was awarded an OBE in addition to the MBE received in 2015. Find out more and register to attend the Women In Business online event.

Bioeconomy: how renewable resources can help the future of our planet

BioVale has been heavily involved in developing an online Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for the University of York on the Bioeconomy: how renewable resources can help the future of our planet. This three-week course (starting from 26th July) will give participants an understanding on what a bioeconomy is and which sectors it includes. Find out more about Bioeconomy.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

The coronavirus picture in North Yorkshire is stark.

The average number of Covid-19 cases is 570 per 100,000 people, the highest seen in the county, a significant rise on last week and above the England average of 520.

But in true Team North Yorkshire spirit, the message we hear time and again reflects our call for everyone to respect and protect themselves and others by continuing to wear face coverings where appropriate, understanding that some people still appreciate social distancing and sticking to  regular hand sanitising and washing.

Remember that this virus can affect all age groups and is felt across our communities.

Today we heard from Eva Hanchard, head girl at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, which had to close this week because of isolating staff and pupils. Eva herself is recovering from Covid.

She spoke about the impact on school life, from the loneliness and isolation of remote learning to the cancellation of social and fundraising events.

Her advice to young people applies to us all: “Just because we’re allow to do what we want doesn’t mean we should, because it’s impossible to know who around you could have Covid. Your actions could affect a lot of people, even if you don’t realise. It’s important we keep up with mask wearing. It’s such an easy thing to do.”

Many businesses are retaining Covid measures. Carolyn Frank of the Federation of Small Businesses told us of the challenges businesses face, including debt, staff recruitment and rising costs, and how they need our support.

“There are a lot of challenges for business owners, so if they ask you to wear a mask or follow a one-way system, please respect them and help businesses to get through this,” she said.

David Moss, of the Wensleydale Heifer at West Witton, has kept measures in place. He surveyed 2,000 customers and found that while people were confident about going out they were wary of lifting safety measures.

“We are finding that the majority of guests are still wearing masks, still sanitising their hands,” said David. “We think at the moment it would be silly to do anything different to what we have been doing, which has kept staff and customers safe.”

Let’s all keep taking the basic precautions, and get both doses of the vaccine as soon as you’re eligible. Let’s respect and protect each other.

Public Health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 18 July 2021, there have been 39,553 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 3,241 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 349 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 569.9 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 520.4. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Working together towards recovery

Teamwork to support our residents

Some people are more at risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus than others, so we’re encouraging all North Yorkshire residents to continue being careful and considerate and to respect and protect each other. Thank you for sticking to the basics of hands, face, space and fresh air. You’re part of the Team North Yorkshire effort keeping our communities safe.

Government advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is to continue taking extra precautions to protect themselves, such as meeting friends and family outside, using online deliveries for shopping or going at quieter times of the day.

Read the full guidance.

Lots of residents are nervous about going shopping or being around lots of people, and are still being supported by friends and family or in some cases volunteers.

For the last 17 months, we’ve been working alongside our partners with 23 community support organisations and the voluntary sector to provide a safety net of support during the pandemic. Thousands of volunteers have helped with shopping, collecting medication, walking pets, taking people to medical appointments and being there for a friendly chat.

If you need help with things like shopping, collecting medication or other essentials while you’re self-isolating, please contact family, friends, neighbours or groups you belong to and let them know how they can support you. If you don’t have anyone to lean on, you can contact our customer service centre on 01609 780780 seven days a week from 8am to 5:30pm.

Remember, if you’re contacted directly by NHS test and trace via phone or email, you legally have to self-isolate for the full 10-day period. If you get ‘pinged’ by the NHS test and trace app, you are strongly encouraged to self-isolate and the app helps you with the length of time you should isolate for.

Find information about the help available, including self-isolation support payments.

Supporting our schools and childcare

The majority of schools in North Yorkshire are now on their last week of term. It has been a challenging year for parents, pupils and staff and we would like to thank everyone for their tremendous contribution and hard work.

Many schools in the county have continued with their existing bubble systems for the remaining days of term. The Government recently issued new guidance, meaning school bubbles are no longer required and school assemblies can resume and children and young people can mix again at breaktimes and lunchtimes. This system will be in place in schools in the county from the start of the autumn term in September.

Face coverings will also no longer be mandatory in classrooms, communal areas in schools, or on school transport.

But school risk assessments will remain a legal requirement and appropriate safety measures are expected to remain in place in schools. This includes measures around hygiene, such as regular hand washing, good ventilation in classrooms and cleaning regimes in school buildings. The Government has also asked that schools retain their capacity for remote learning over the next academic year for self-isolating pupils.

Over the summer there will be a range of holiday club activities across the county, where children can learn new skills, stay active, healthy and socially connected. The holiday clubs have been funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food

Programme and are available to all families, with free admission to children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. Every club will offer a hot meal or packed lunch each day.

The County Council has commissioned North Yorkshire Together, a partnership between Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth to run the programme in the county, under the banner of FEAST North Yorkshire. Find more information about FEAST.

We would like to wish our school communities a well-earned break over summer.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Getting York on track to attract new rail HQ

We are working with partners locally and in Government to make the case for bringing the Great British Railways headquarters to York.

Read Kevin Hollinrake MP in the Yorkshire Post on what makes York the perfect place.

Kickstart Scheme Success Stories

The Kickstart Scheme has been a boost to the morale and productivity of young people and businesses. Open to businesses of all sizes and sectors, the government-funded scheme opens up six-month placements for 16-24-year-olds, allowing them to gain valuable work experience, and allowing businesses to receive the support they need in unprecedented times.

Here are just a few of many York and North Yorkshire success stories that have come out of the Kickstart Scheme.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

We’re entering a new phase in how we deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus is still with us, so as we reach step 4 on the Government’s roadmap on Monday we each need to consider our approach to living with Covid in the coming weeks and months.

We’ll be appealing to that great Team North Yorkshire spirit that we have witnessed so clearly and in so many ways over the past 16 months to keep the county strong and resolute in its efforts to stop the spread of this illness.

The number of cases is rising. North Yorkshire’s average is 355 per 100,000 people, a little above the England average of 345. We are seeing more than 300 new cases in the county each day, the highest rate since 12 January. More than 80 Covid patients are in the main hospitals that serve the county, compared with 400-plus in January, but that number has doubled in five days.

Those numbers alone tell us that we need to continue to act responsibly.

I can sum up our approach in two words: respect and protect. We can show respect for and offer protection to ourselves and those around us by continuing to do the simple things.

Please continue to wear your face covering in crowded spaces outdoors or indoors.

Businesses and shops need to do all they can to protect their staff, as well as customers. They don’t want to have to close because staff are self-isolating, so wearing a facemask not only protects you, it protects other people and supports local business.

Likewise with social distancing, some people may not feel as confident as you, so giving them space is important. Regular hand washing and sticking to well-ventilated places remains important, too.

Above all else, it is crucial that you have your vaccination. Get your first jab as soon as you’re able – and make sure you get your second jab, too. That continues to be our best line of defence.

As the vaccination programme moves to younger people, our NHS colleagues are seeing greater use of walk-in and pop-up clinics. These take place across North Yorkshire and require no booking – just drop in.

Find a walk-in clinic near you.

We’ve come a long way and we’re making progress through the vaccine. There’s a way to go, but we’ve shown we can do this together. Stay strong, stay safe, and let’s stop the spread.

Public Health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 12 July 2021, there have been 36,405 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 2,084 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 298 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 354.7 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 345.1. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Supporting our school and childcare

It has been a difficult year, but school communities have managed to overcome the many challenges brought about by the pandemic. As this is the last week of term, we would like to wish school staff, governors, parents and children a really happy summer and thank them for pulling together to make sure the academic year passed with the least disruption possible.

Over the summer, a diverse holiday club programme is being rolled out across the county. Organisations will be providing a mixture of activities that help children to stay active, healthy and socially connected which will give them an opportunity to develop new skills and try new experiences.

The activities are available to all families and are free to those who receive benefits-related free school meals and will include a hot meal or packed lunch each day. Activities on offer include summer sports camps, sessions on growing and cooking vegetables, music, libraries activities, art, dance and drama sessions.

There will also be activities for families of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which will include day trips to North Yorkshire venues and attractions.

Funding for the scheme has come from the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The County Council has commissioned North Yorkshire Together, a partnership between Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth to run the programme in the county, under the banner of FEAST North Yorkshire.

There is also food voucher help available for families in North Yorkshire who are likely to struggle with the additional cost of food and other essentials over the summer holidays.

The Covid Local Support Grant provides food voucher payments to parents and carers in receipt of free school meals, or other families impacted financially by the pandemic.

The Department for Work and Pensions has awarded the County Council grant funding of £1,350,900, which we have allocated to schools and academies and early years providers. Care leavers will also be eligible for food vouchers.

The vouchers amount to £75 to cover the length of the summer holiday.

Growing our local economy

Getting York on track to attract new rail HQ

We are working with partners locally and in Government to make the case for bringing the Great British Railways headquarters to York. Read Kevin Hollinrake MP in the Yorkshire Post on what makes York the perfect place.

BioYorkshire Survey

How would you like to see agritech and biotech SMEs and entrepreneurs supported in Yorkshire? Help BioYorkshire (a ten-year plan to cement the Yorkshire region as the UK’s centre of innovation and commercialisation in the bio-economy) map the opportunities, challenges and useful interventions by taking part in a short five-minute survey. Participants will go into a draw to win a bio-based goody bag.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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

Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

To paraphrase one of sport’s most enduring quotes… don’t think it’s all over.

That applies to tonight’s semi-final between England and Denmark in the European Football Championships, of course, but also to how we might continue to approach the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the tournament so far, we’ve seen Gareth Southgate’s England play with care, control, confidence and, perhaps most of all, teamwork to progress to this stage.

If you’ll allow me to stretch the metaphor, these are qualities we can use in our daily lives to protect ourselves, families, friends and neighbours and tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The average number of cases in North Yorkshire is 259 per 100,000 people, slightly above the England average of 258. As we await a Government decision next week on whether the data supports a move to Step 4 of the road map from 19 July, let’s remember that Covid-19 has not gone away, so the precautions we have taken up till now remain important.

We do need to live with Covid. That will take time and we will all feel differently about it. Some may be confident, others worried, and we need to find a careful balance.

We can have confidence in the impact of the vaccination and the protection it gives, but need to be careful about how we work together in the next phase of the pandemic.

There will be many views, and people need to do what feels right for them while being mindful of loved ones and other people.

Face coverings, along with hand washing, meeting outdoors where possible and keeping places well ventilated, remain important tools to combat the spread of the virus, certainly until everyone is able to benefit from the same level of protection from the vaccine.

A final word on vaccination, and if you’ll indulge another football reference, it’s a game of two doses… It’s vital that everyone eligible gets the vaccine and that everyone gets both jabs. That will give you and those around you the greatest protection.

I hope that wordplay is more excruciating than anything England fans see on the pitch in tonight’s game. Please enjoy the football, do so safely, and let’s continue to look after ourselves and each other.

Public Health and social care

North Yorkshire Coronavirus Data

At 4 July 2021, there have been 33,819 positive tests since 3 March 2020, with 1,514 new cases reported in the past week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 216 cases per day, allowing for incomplete data in the most recent days. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire is 258.6 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 257.9. Work continues to ensure effective monitoring of all areas, with support for incidents being provided across a range of settings, which are reviewed daily.

Find further information on North Yorkshire data provided at county, district and local area level.

Testing Update

If anyone has symptoms, they must book a PCR test. Testing sites across North Yorkshire, as elsewhere in England, are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. We try to help the Department by promoting the testing site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal.

Find information about where you can get a PCR test on our website.

Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week with home testing kits and report the results to NHS Test and Trace. You can order rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests online or collect them from participating pharmacies.

Find out how to order or collect free LFD tests.

It remains vitally important that we continue with the key messages:

  • Get your first and second dose of the jab
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing when out with friends and family, including work places, pubs, restaurants etc.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Supporting our school and childcare

Following the Government announcement this week, from July 19 the school bubble system will no longer be required, meaning schools assemblies can resume and children and young people can again mix at breaktimes and lunchtimes.

Most schools in North Yorkshire will not have begun their summer break by this date, but we have been told that schools can retain their existing bubble system until the end of term, if they wish.

The Government also announced that pupils, staff and visitors to schools will no longer have to wear face coverings after July 19 while in school classrooms or communal areas, or on school transport.

However, school risk assessments still remain a legal requirement and appropriate safety measures are expected to remain in place in schools. This includes measures around hygiene, such as regular hand washing, appropriate cleaning regimes in school buildings, good ventilation in classrooms and to follow public health advice on testing. Schools will also have outbreak management plans and can reinstate face masks and the bubble system for short periods in the event of an outbreak.

The Government announcement also specified that schools need to retain the capacity to provide remote education, which will cover the next academic year as well, in the event that there are large numbers of pupils self-isolating.

We currently have seven schools and early years settings closed in North Yorkshire.

Closures are not always due to confirmed cases in schools; some are due to operational reasons, where staff may be isolating while they wait for test results, or while a member of their family awaits results for suspected covid. We are confident schools are doing their best to keep closures to a minimum.

Throughout the past months, schools have managed to keep the balance between managing risks associated with covid and maintaining the focus on children’s education. We feel very strongly that staff, governors and pupils have all gone the extra mile in their different ways to make this year a success and ensure the least disruption to children’s education and we would like to thank them for their work.

Growing our local economy

LEP News: Peer Networks programme: Learn, share and grow

There has never been a more important time to invest in the future of your business. The Peer Networks programme allows you to do this by working with people who know business best – other business leaders.

Our professional facilitators will support you and your small cohort of fellow business leaders as you work together on important challenges, and the topics to be discussed, and come up with tangible solutions in a collaborative, non-competitive environment.

Find out more about the Peer Networks programme.

The Resource Efficient Business Programme

The Resource Efficient Business Programme (REBiz) offers advice and financial support to SMEs in York, Harrogate, Craven and Selby that are looking to reduce their energy usage, save water and cut waste. It can also help businesses in adopting circular business models, products and services.

The programme can provide eligible businesses hands on consultancy support to identify energy, waste, and water saving projects via fully funded resource efficiency audits. There is 40% capital support available for qualifying projects, up to a maximum total project value of £100,000. Examples of projects that can be supported with grant funding include: LED lighting, more efficient heating, compressor upgrades, insulation improvements, and variable speed drives.

Find out more about the circular economy.

Keeping in touch

Keep up to date with Covid-19 news for North Yorkshire.

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