Coronavirus: York council enacts pandemic plan

Leader of City of York Council Keith Aspden
12 Mar 2020 @ 6.20 pm
| News

City of York Council has undertaken a five-step programme in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The authority has enacted its flu pandemic plan and is working closely with partners and specialist services to prepare for Covid-19.

In a statement tonight leader Cllr Keith Aspden said:

  • It is important to reiterate, York has had three cases, all as a result of international travel.

    There has been no community transference and as a result, the risk to York residents remains low.

Strategic meeting

City of York Council HQ. Photograph: YorkMix

“The council has enacted our flu pandemic plan and have recently held a strategic meeting to discuss business continuity plans,” Cllr Aspden said.

” Together with partners, regular planning and scenario sessions are taking place based on the latest expert national guidance, to which we will respond quickly.”

In York, the council has taken the following steps:

  1. Services continue as normal, with business continuity plans in place to help manage staff absences.
  2. The council is issuing guidance to staff and members.
  3. The council is are exploring options to adapt the democratic meeting schedule, working with central government about any required legislative changes.
  4. The council’s democratic meeting cycle is webcast and people can watch these rather than attend.
  5. West Offices and Hazel Court infection control measures will be increased with visitors actively encouraged to wash hands before entering the building.

Cllr Aspden added:

  • In York and North Yorkshire, we have well established partnership working practices to help us to manage the impact of coronavirus and address challenges by focusing our resources where they are needed most.

    By continuing this approach, and following Government advice, we have the best possible chance of minimising risk to our residents, staff and businesses, which is our main priority.

No community transfer

Fiona Phillips, deputy director of Public Health at the council, said: “We can confirm that there has been no community transference in the city, and as a result, the risk to York residents remains low.

“We will continue to respond to the latest Government guidance.”

She urged residents to continue good hygiene measures:

  • Wash hands regularly but especially after coughing and sneezing. People should wash their hands with soap and hot water more often and for more than 20 seconds
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping or blowing your nose – think ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’
  • Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol rub
  • Don’t share cups, cutlery without washing them in detergent first.