York seen as ‘the poster boy’ of recovery because it has bounced back so well from Covid
York has fared much better than a lot of cities in its recovery following Covid lockdowns, a leading business figure has said.
Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID, said footfall was down in the city centre over Christmas – but not by much.
Mr Lowson said: “I was at a conference earlier on in December, where York was being described as the poster boy or poster girl of recovery just because it has bounced back better than a lot of other cities.
“We haven’t compared footfall to 2020 – because obviously a lot of the UK is in lockdown.
“If you compare York footfall this Christmas compared to 2019 We’re only 6% down. But if I tell you that a lot of the other UK cities were about 25% down on their footfall that shows you again, what was what a strong Christmas York has had.”
Mr Lowson was speaking at an Ask The Leaders Facebook Live Q&A run by City of York Council last night (Thursday).
Thank you for joining out latest Facebook live Q&A around coronavirus measures, vaccines/boosters and public health. Please use the comments box, if there are any questions you would like to ask the panel. The panellists are as follows: Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council (Chair) Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health at City of York Council Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID Doctor David Hartley, Medical Director at NimbuscarePosted by City of York Council on Thursday, 6 January 2022
At the event, York public health director Sharon Stoltz acknowledged the high rates of Covid-19 in the city due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
She said: “We’ve had just over 3,500 new cases of Covid in the seven days up to the second of the month.
“We’ve never had a case rate that that high before. The silver lining is that for the majority of people who are getting infected with Covid at the moment, they’re not getting seriously ill.
“And so we’re not seeing very high hospital admissions. So the number of Covid patients we have in hospital now is nowhere near as high as the number of people we had in hospital this time last year.”
Because of the impact of the high rates and the number of people isolating because of that, services across York and North Yorkshire are under extreme pressure.
Routine NHS appointments, for example, will be delayed further, Ms Stoltz said as resources need to be directed at more serious issues.