Partners across York have joined forces to launch a campaign to reassure residents that safety measures have been put in place across the city.

The campaign encourages wider use of face coverings, hand washing and social distancing, in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

With children returning to school, businesses opening their doors and the city preparing to welcome students, the city is showing how people are coming together to look after one another.

Over the coming weeks, the ‘we’ve got it covered campaign’ will show how organisations have put in place measures to make it easier for people to follow public health advice, in order to protect themselves and each other.

Those who can wear a face covering are being asked to wear one in any space they can’t socially distance from people outside their household, both indoors and outdoors.

The campaign is part of the Let’s Be York initiative encouraging people to be safe, welcoming and considerate in our fantastic city and to protect each other. The campaign will also remind people that, for very good reason, some individuals may not be able to wear a face covering and to support them as they move around the city safely.  It will also recognise the importance of handwashing, social distancing and staying at home and getting tested if you have symptoms.

A range of partners have come together to support the campaign, which shows how “we’ve got it covered” with the simple steps we can all take to protect each other.

Partners involved in the campaign are: City of York Council, NHS Vale of York CCG, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, York BID, University of York, York St John University, York College, Askham Bryan College, First York, York CVS and St Leonard’s Hospice.

People can find out more details about the campaign and how they can get involved at:

https://www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/campaigns/weve-got-it-covered 

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council and Chair of the York Outbreak Management Advisory Board said: “It is encouraging to see partners across the city coming together in order to slow the spread of the virus. It is incredibly important that we continue to take a public health approach as we build back better and promote key public health measures, such as face coverings, as part of this work.

“The campaign also highlights how people from across the city have been working hard to keep everyone safe, including residents, businesses, colleges and our universities.  I am grateful to everyone, including our partners and local residents, for their hard work in adapting to national guidance.  We must keep going to keep cases low in the city and ultimately, keep people safe.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health said: “We are grateful to everyone who is following public health guidance in the city to wash hands, keep 2m apart from others, wear a face covering and to stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms.

“The actions of everyone have meant cases in the city have stayed low. It is vital this continues and face coverings are a really important way we can stop the virus for spreading and I would ask those that can to wear them anywhere they can’t socially distance from people outside their household.”

Dr Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “This joint partnership working across the city highlights the commitment from organisations to keep our patients and the public safe.

"The ‘we’ve got it covered’ message follows national government guidance to protect peoples’ health and to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Let’s all do it and protect each other. That’s the best way to keep our city safe for everyone.”

Simon Morritt, Chief Executive, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to support York’s ‘we’ve got it covered campaign’.

"As winter approaches it is vital that people help protect NHS services by taking these simple precautions to keep everyone safe.”

Andrew Lowson, Exec Director at The York BID:“Businesses in the city have been working extremely hard to keep their staff and customers safe, and we welcome this campaign which helps demonstrate their efforts.

"We have a collective responsibility to help keep each other and our city safe, and this campaign will help encourage people that businesses in the city are both safe and welcoming.” 

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York, Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: "As a University we will be focusing on the collective commitments and shared responsibilities of students and staff in respecting the advice and guidelines we have put in place to support a safe learning and working environment .

"I am sure that the sense of community and shared purpose, which is a hallmark of both the University and the City of York, will come into play here and put us in a strong position in keeping each other safe. Our collective commitment to respect, fairness and compassion is going to be more important than ever in the next few months." 

Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice Chancellor of York St John University said: “We all have a role to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe and have worked hard to put measures in place to protect our whole community.

"At York St John University, the ‘We’ve got it covered’ campaign reflects our commitment to reinforcing vital public health guidance for students and staff to maintain distancing, wash hands and wear a face covering where possible.”

Louise Doswell, Deputy Chief Executive of York College, said: “At York College we have worked hard to ensure all staff and students are fully aware of the increased hygiene measures we have in place for everyone’s safety. 

"We have provided all staff and students with free face coverings and a full induction into our new way of working and learning.  As a partner in the ‘we’ve got it covered’ campaign it is great to see how all members have joined forces in demonstrating their commitment in keeping York safe for all who work, learn and visit.”

Dr Tim Whitaker, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Askham Bryan College, said,  "The health and safety of our college community is our priority.

"Askham Bryan College is welcoming its students back throughout September. Numerous additional measures have been put in place to ensure we are doing our part to help reduce the risks of Covid-19 on campus and locally in our city. Teaching staff are managing numbers by time-tabling a blend of on-campus and online learning. On campus,  we have social-distancing markers, extra hand-sanitising stations, guidance on the use of face-coverings and a campaign for all to “Be ABC: Alert, Behaviours, Consider others”.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “We’ve seen the benefits and confidence in safety that wearing a face covering gives to everyone using our buses since it became law in June.

" Compliance is high and has remained so as more people travel, which is great to see and the right thing to do, so we encourage our customers to carry on, wear one and support this campaign.” 

Alison Semmence, Chief Executive at York CVS, said: “We’re pleased to support this campaign as it raises awareness across the city regarding individuals with hidden disabilities who are unable to wear face coverings.

"It is essential that we continue to be respectful to those individuals and provide reassurance that we are working together to support everyone within the City to stay safe when out and about.”

Emma Johnson, CEO of St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “As a Hospice we have had strict PPE procedures in place throughout this pandemic to protect our staff, our patients and their visitors.

"It’s therefore great to see other organisations in York joining forces to provide a clear and united message on the current Government guidance around face coverings and social distancing, in order to keep everyone in the city safe.”