Message from the Mayor at the Yokohama COVID-19 Response Headquarters Meeting (2021.4.26)
It has been one week since the priority preventive measures were expanded to include Yokohama.
Kanagawa Prefecture has revised its enforcement policies, and has decided to further expand the areas designated for priority measures and to request an all-day suspension of alcoholic beverage sales at food and drink establishments from April 28 to May 11.
To limit the influx of people from Tokyo where a third state of emergency has been declared, it is believed that an all-day suspension of alcohol sales is an unfortunate, but unavoidable step.
Drinking and dining establishments are already in a difficult situation due to the effects of the prolonged request for shortened operating hours. With the request for all-day suspension of alcohol sales, I strongly urged Governor Kuroiwa for further supporting measures in addition to the grants to cooperating establishments. I will continue to appeal for support from the prefectural government.
Yokohama will continue to provide steadfast support not only to restaurants but to all local businesses to overcome this challenging time together.
In light of the revised enforcement policy from Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama will implement the following measures in addition to those already in place.
-At public facilities and events organized or co-organized by the city, alcoholic beverages will not be provided starting April 28, and entry will be regulated to prevent crowds from forming.
-During the long public holiday, the Yokohama City COVID-19 Call Center will continue to operate and provide consultation 24 hours a day.
-A temporary consultation service will open to assist residents experiencing difficulty in their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from May 1 through 5 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Consultation will be available at two locations, Kotobuki Fukushi Plaza Consultation Room and Kanagawa Kōkaidō,* or by phone or email.
[*Provisional English names.]
-Yokohama will establish a system enlisting city personnel from all departments to provide robust support to mass vaccination venues. The city will also develop a new process for responding flexibly to increased workloads at local ward Health and Welfare Centers by deploying support staff based on the ongoing infection situation.
Over the last week, 638 new cases were identified in Yokohama, 1.3 times the number of the previous week and indicating a striking trend. The proportion of infections by variant strains is also on the rise in the prefecture.
With the approach of a long public holiday, Yokohama will maintain medical care and consultation systems, provide substantial support for residents, and prepare for a further spread of infections.
Yokohama has secured 554 beds for COVID-19 cases, nearly twice the number of patients testing positive during the peak of the third wave.
In addition, 198 beds are available for patients who may be infected, with a further 173 for patients recovering from symptoms, for a total of 925 beds at 64 local health care facilities, and both infectious disease treatment and everyday medical care are being steadily provided.
Rest assured that even during the long public holiday, the city is preparing a system to ensure medical care is available at emergency clinics and nighttime emergency medical centers thanks to the cooperation of health care institutions.
In addition, based on the ongoing infection situation, the city is organizing a special response team for Y-CERT, where on-duty doctors are stationed in readiness, to smoothly coordinate patient hospitalizations, transfers, and transportation to and from hospitals.
As of April 22, nearly 3,900 people had been vaccinated at 29 long term care facilities where vaccinations began on April 12. Vaccinations will continue in May at 400 to 500 facilities.
Group vaccinations, to take place at 19 venues such as auditoriums and sports centers in each ward, will begin in Aoba Ward on May 17 and at all venues starting May 19. Individual vaccinations are scheduled to start in June at 76 hospitals and 1,053 clinics.
As the head of the COVID-19 response headquarters of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities, I personally made a request to Minister Kono for a steady supply of vaccine. Minister Kono responded that supplies will be made available in earnest after the long public holiday, with 10 million doses to be distributed each week across Japan. The city will continue to dedicate its full efforts to ensuring that every resident who wishes to get the vaccine can do so with peace of mind.
To all city departments:
-Based on the city’s policies, please reassess the measures in place for the facilities and events managed by your ward or bureau, and ensure that users, visitors, and related parties are informed of these measures.
-Whether at work or otherwise, make sure to observe basic measures to prevent infection, avoid actions that are accompanied by a high risk of infection, and ensure that all personnel are aware of these measures.
-Please establish a system at each Ward Administration Office or Bureau that can respond flexibly to changes in the infection situation even during the long holiday.
I request to all residents:
-Please refrain from unnecessary and non-urgent outings and observe basic preventive measures.
-Please refrain from traveling between prefectures except when necessary to your daily life.
-When drinking or dining out, please choose establishments that have taken measures to prevent infections. Please also avoid going to restaurants after 8 p.m.
-Please do not consume alcohol outside your homes.
Thank you for your continued cooperation.
I request to our local businesses:
-Starting April 28, I ask that you please cease offering alcoholic beverages at any hour of the day. Establishments with karaoke equipment are also asked not to provide karaoke services at any hour.
-I ask that attractions or facilities serving large numbers of customers shorten their business hours to 8 p.m. to reduce the flow of people at night. In addition, please ensure that admission is regulated to prevent crowds in or around each facility.
-Please help employees reduce contact with others while at work or commuting, and aim for a 70% reduction of staff in offices by implementing remote work, flexible working hours, staggered commuting and lunch breaks, and other measures.
The City of Yokohama will continue to work with national and prefectural governments and medical institutions to protect the lives and livelihoods of all our residents.
To stop the spread of infection and return to our daily lives as soon as possible, it is essential that each and every one of us observes preventive measures. Even to protect against the spread of variant strains, the measures that must be taken are the same.
There will be a light at the end of this tunnel.
I wish for all of us together to make it through this challenging time. I think that this long public holiday will be a critical moment. I hope you will join me in working to make it through successfully.
Message from the Mayor at the Yokohama COVID-19 Response Headquarters Meeting (2021.4.16)
Today, Kanagawa Prefecture was designated for stricter semi-emergency measures to prevent infection, and the City of Yokohama was identified as a region where the measures will go into effect.
A fourth wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections is surging in many regions across the country.
The number of new cases is rising rapidly, especially in Osaka and the Kansai region, but also in Tokyo. The proportion of cases from variant strains, said to be more infectious than the base virus, is growing, necessitating preventive measures.
In Yokohama, 422 new cases were identified last week, a 117% increase over the previous week.
This is also higher than cases in March, and there is a possibility that numbers will continue to surge. Because about 430 thousand Yokohama residents commute to Tokyo’s 23 wards for work or school, I believe expanding the semi-emergency measures to Yokohama is an unfortunate but sensible measure.
In accordance with the decision, Yokohama will implement policies based on those of the national and prefectural governments:
●Starting April 20 (Tuesday) public facilities will generally close by 8:00 p.m.
●Attendees to city-organized events will be capped at a maximum of 5,000.
●If an infection is identified at a facility or store/shop, the Yokohama Active Epidemiological Investigation Team (Y-AEIT) will continue actively provide guidance and testing to help prevent the spread of infection through rapid onsite investigations.
In anticipation of a sudden surge of infections, Yokohama has placed special focus on expanding the number of available hospital beds. The city has also taken steps to enhance the Y-CERT and public health center systems.
With the cooperation of local medical institutions, the city has secured 554 beds for treating COVID-19 cases, nearly twice as many as the number of patients hospitalized during the peak of infections during the third wave of the virus. In addition, 198 beds are available for patients who may be infected, with a further 173 for patients recovering from symptoms, for a total of 925 beds at 64 local health care facilities. As it has up to now, the city is ensuring both infectious disease treatment and everyday medical care are being steadily provided.
To maintain stability in the medical care system, Yokohama will assign beds flexibly in response to the state of the spread of infection.
Vaccinations at long term care facilities, which started on April 12, are progressing smoothly. The city is preparing to establish and run the system to allow residents make appointments to get vaccinated.
Since April, the city has added 112 personnel to enhance the functionality of public health centers and provide vaccinations and other medical services. With this significantly strengthened system, the city will continue to commit all efforts to COVID-19 response.
To all city departments:
In order for the semi-emergency measures to function effectively in preventing the spread of infection, cooperation from residents and businesses is essential. With a long holiday on the horizon, we must ensure everyone is informed about these measures without fail to contain the spread of infection.
In addition, please establish a system at each Ward Administration Office or Bureau that can respond flexibly to changes in the infection situation even during the long holiday.
I request to all residents:
●I ask that everyone please remain vigilant and observe basic preventive measures to curb the spread of infections.
●Although we will soon have a long holiday, please refrain from going out for non-essential reasons, even during the day.
●Day or night, please wear masks when drinking or dining.
●Avoid the “five situations” that present an increased risk of infection, and try to implement remote work, flexible working hours, and other methods to help stop the spread.
I also call upon our local businesses:
●Please cooperate with the request to shorten business hours to 8:00 p.m., observe restrictions on events, and operate in line with other national and prefectural government policies.
●Please refer to industry guidelines and ensure preventive measures are thoroughly implemented.
●Aim for a 70% reduction of staff in offices to prevent excess contact with others at work or while commuting by implementing remote work, flexible working hours, staggered commuting and lunch breaks, and other measures.
●Please request that all customers wear masks.
●Please refrain from running karaoke equipment at drinking and dining establishments.
I wish for all of us together to make it through this so-called fourth wave. There will be a light at the end of this tunnel. I believe that if we all remain vigilant while implementing and observing infection prevention measures, we will reach the end and put this crisis behind us.
The City of Yokohama will commit all its efforts as we work with national and prefectural governments and medical institutions to help stop the spread of infections.
Message from the Mayor at the Yokohama COVID-19 Response Headquarters Meeting (2021.3.18)
The national government announced its decision today to lift the declaration of a state of emergency for Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures, including Kanagawa, on March 21. I believe this outcome is thanks to the long two and a half months of efforts implementing measures to prevent infection by our residents, businesses, and health care workers. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you.
Once the declaration is lifted, public facilities in Yokohama that were directed to close by 8 p.m. will be allowed to operate until 9 p.m. through April 21.
City-organized events, in accordance with national and prefectural guidelines, will allow up to 10 thousand attendees and also remain open until 9 p.m. through April 21.
The number of new cases in Yokohama for the past week stands at 313, a significant drop compared to the record 2,723 weekly cases reported in mid-January.
Also, among hospitalizations, 4 patients (2%) have severe symptoms, 48 patients (18%) are experiencing moderate symptoms, and the remaining 214 patients (80%) show mild or no symptoms. Currently, 103 patients who have tested positive are occupying the beds secured by the city, or 18.7% of the total, and robust care is being provided for both coronavirus treatment and for everyday health care services.
As the warm spring approaches, events and festivities will gradually resume. “Garden Necklace Yokohama 2021” begins on the 27th. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are just around the corner this summer. It is critical that we prevent another surge of infections: not only to ensure the success of the games, the first in Japan in 57 years, that will inspire and move the hearts of so many, but most of all for the sake of returning to our peaceful daily lives and restoring the bustle of activity to the city. With concerns about the spread of new variants of the virus, we absolutely cannot tolerate a rebound in the number of new cases in order to maintain a steady health care system.
To prevent another spread of infections, the national government is focusing on five anti-virus programs: preventive measures at dining establishments, enhancing response to variants, expanding testing to monitor for infections, preparing vaccinations, and reinforcing the health care system.
Yokohama will continue to work with the national and prefectural governments and remain committed to preventing a resurge in cases while carefully following the infection situation and trends throughout the country.
The city will cooperate with national initiatives to monitor PCR testing for those without symptoms in order to recognize the spread of infections in the early stages.
Additionally, the city is conducting tests that screen for variants of the virus among the 5% that tested positive among outpatients who were returning from abroad or who may have been in contact with infected persons. Yokohama will continue to coordinate with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and enact a rapid response to any outbreaks.
In order to prepare for the possibility of a resurge of infections, Yokohama is working to increase the number of beds for patients testing positive, with 550 currently secured. With the cooperation of even more medical institutions, the city has also secured approximately 200 beds for patients with a fever or other symptoms that could indicate a coronavirus infection.
Moreover, Yokohama is committing its full efforts to preparing for the vaccine rollout, which will be the lynchpin to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Vaccinations will begin at long term care facilities starting the week of April 12.
A dedicated call center with 300 lines has been established to answer questions and respond to concerns from residents about the COVID-19 vaccine. City personnel conducted a practice exercise at a long term care facility in Tsurumi Ward that simulated the entire vaccination process, from check-in to the post-vaccine follow-up examination. Preparatory simulations are planned to be held at vaccination venues in all 18 wards.
A vaccine transport management center will be established in April to ensure the vaccine can be delivered safely and efficiently to medical institutions and group vaccination venues.
The vaccine plays a large role in suppressing both the symptoms and the spread of the virus. The city will spare no effort in preparations so that all residents can get vaccinated smoothly and with piece of mind.
With the lifting of the declaration of a state of emergency, Yokohama will steadily promote initiatives to support local businesses and put socio-economic activity on track to recover as soon as possible.
Business owners have been facing hardships they had never before experienced due to the request to shorten business hours having been in place for so long. With the intention of supporting businesses at all costs, the city has provided 490 billion yen in financial support and institutional loans so far among 23,600 applicants to ensure business continuity.
Furthermore, Yokohama will support capital investments and market expansion for new business activities developed during the pandemic, such as online business negotiations and takeout services. The city will coordinate with the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to provide its fullest support to local businesses, the foundation of the city’s growth.
To all city departments: demonstrate leadership in the approach to helping prevent a resurge in cases. Make use of every opportunity and tool available to call on not only residents but businesses and their related organizations and industries to reinforce preventive measures.
As the season for cherry blossom viewing and welcoming or going-away parties approaches, help ensure residents and businesses continue to observe comprehensive preventive measures.
I once again call upon all residents.
•Please refrain from nonessential and non-urgent outings, day or night, and especially after 9 p.m., to help reduce the chance of contact with others.
•Please hold off from graduation trips, welcoming or going away parties, and other celebrations, and enjoy cherry blossom viewing without social eating or drinking.
•Avoid the five situations where the risk of infection is higher, such as dining or drinking for an extended period or in large groups, conversations while not masked, living with others in small spaces, and when entering or leaving breakrooms, smoking areas, and so on. Please also try to implement remote working or staggered commuting if possible.
•Please continue to observe basic measures to prevent infection, such as ventilating rooms, avoiding situations with the “three C’s,” washing hands frequently, using disinfectant, and wearing masks.
I also call upon our local businesses.
•Please cooperate with national and prefectural policies, such as the requests for bars and restaurants to close at 9 p.m. and various restrictions on holding events.
•Refer to industry guidelines and ensure preventive measures are thoroughly implemented.
•Aim for a 70% reduction of staff in offices to prevent excess contact with others at work or on transportation by implementing remote work, flexible working hours, staggered commuting and lunch breaks, and other measures.
We have made it through two declarations of a state of emergency together. Yokohama will continue to make every effort as we work with national and prefectural governments and medical institutions to protect the lives and livelihoods of all our residents and revitalize our economy.
Message from the Mayor about the extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency (2021.03.05)
The national government decided today to extend the declaration of a state of emergency until March 21 for Tokyo and the surrounding three prefectures, including Kanagawa.
About 430 thousand of our residents commute to Tokyo’s 23 wards for work or school, and as the number of infections has not adequately decreased in many areas, I believe the extension is a measure that cannot be avoided.
With the state of emergency extended, the City of Yokohama will continue to direct public facilities to close by 8 p.m. and limit attendance to city-organized events to a maximum of 5,000 or 50% occupancy. Municipal schools will continue educational activities while keeping comprehensive measures in place to prevent infection while monitoring the health of children, faculty, and staff.
Thanks to our residents and businesses working together with us to implement infectious disease countermeasures, the spread of infection in the city has steadily slowed over the two months since January 7. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone for their efforts during this time.
The current number of new cases over the past week (February 27 to March 5) was 311, a significant drop from the record 2,723 cases in mid-January. Out of all hospitalized patients, 10 are experiencing severe symptoms (3%), 58 have moderate symptoms (18%), and the remaining 248 show mild or no symptoms (79%). There are 132 beds in use by patients testing positive, and, adding the 280 beds in use by patients with fever or other symptoms who might possibly be infected, brings the occupancy rate of the 518 beds secured by Yokohama for COVID-19 patients to 54.1%. Both regular and infectious disease medical care are being provided, but as the bed occupancy rate is declining at a slower rate than the number of new patients, we are still one step away.
The decisive factor to curb COVID-19 will be vaccinations. To ensure our residents can safely and reliably receive vaccinations, the city is committing its full efforts to vaccine preparations, and vaccination simulations are being planned. The dedicated call center is equipped with 300 lines, so please call if you have concerns.
I wish to express my deepest appreciation once again to everyone observing the preventive measures as well as to all health care professionals and all those working to protect lives and livelihoods. Despite the dire situation facing its business environment, we are also grateful for the cooperation from everyone in the food service industry. Thank you for your continued cooperation to help prevent the spread of infection.
A warmer and merrier spring season approaches, but we call on all residents to continue to remain vigilant and observe thorough measures to prevent infection. As much as possible, when dining with those outside your household, please keep the number as low as possible, and please refrain from celebrations, cherry blossom viewing parties, welcoming or sending-off parties, and other social events where there is food and drink. Let’s work together to make it through these next two critical weeks.
Message from the Mayor about the extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency (2021.02.03)
Yesterday, February 2, the national government decided, apart from Tochigi Prefecture, to extend the declaration of a state of emergency for 10 prefectures until March 7, including Kanagawa.
Based on the extension of the state of emergency, the City of Yokohama will continue to direct public facilities to generally be closed by 8 p.m., and city-sponsored events will be limited to 5,000 attendants and venues capped at 50% capacity or less. Schools will follow comprehensive preventive measures, and educational activities will be allowed to continue, with careful attention paid to the well-being of children, students, and faculty.
The number of new daily cases in Yokohama began to increase in mid-December of last year, rose suddenly in early January, and reached a record 542 cases on January 18.
Currently, as of February 2, 33 people, 4% of the total cases, are hospitalized with severe symptoms; 121 people, 17%, are experiencing moderate symptoms; and the remaining 577 people, 79%, are showing mild or no symptoms. Of the 500 beds the city secured for patients recovering from COVID-19 with severe, moderate, or mild symptoms, 272 are in use. Additionally, it is necessary to provide care for patients with fever or other symptoms, which, combined with positive cases, represents 413 beds in use.
Though the medical care system is shouldering a severe burden, Yokohama’s Infectious Disease & Medical Coordination Headquarters, Y-CERT, is committing all its efforts to ensure patients who need emergency care can be hospitalized through coordination with health care providers to organize a special system to have doctors on duty at all times. Every effort is also being made to promote mutual collaboration and cooperation among local medical institutions to expand the number of places that can accept patients.
The number of new cases last week (January 27 to February 2) was reported at 1,077, a drop from the previous week, clearly demonstrating the results of the efforts of our residents and businesses.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has refrained from nonessential outings and observed thorough preventive measures, as well as to all health care professionals and all those working to protect lives and livelihoods.
The city recently announced a budget proposal for fiscal 2021 totaling 240.5 billion yen for measures to protect daily life and the economy from the effects of COVID-19. A special team is also being assembled to ensure that the life-saving vaccinations can be provided steadily and smoothly to each and every resident. We will continue to dedicate all our efforts to protecting our residents and businesses by prioritizing enhanced measures to prevent infection and achieve economic revitalization.
We can absolutely stop the spread of infection if all of us remain vigilant and committed to observing rigorous preventive measures. Let’s work together to overcome this challenge, get the state of emergency declaration lifted, and return to our everyday lives as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor at the Yokohama COVID-19 Response Headquarters Meeting (2021.1.7)
Today, January 7, the national government declared a second state of emergency for Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures, including Kanagawa. While we have focused our efforts on prevention measures, with the cooperation of the national and prefectural governments as well as our city’s residents, and many health care personnel have worked through the year-end and new year without taking time off, we are once again faced with a dire situation and are made painfully aware of the difficulty of fighting this mysterious virus.
Currently, 28 people hospitalized in Yokohama are experiencing severe symptoms, a rate of 4%. A further 89, or 15%, display moderate symptoms, and the remaining 507, 81% of those hospitalized, show only mild or no symptoms. Of the 500 beds secured for patients to recover from moderate to severe symptoms, 179 hospital beds are in use: a 35.8% occupancy rate.
High-level health care providers in Yokohama have been coordinating to provide ample care for emergency patients and maintain a robust medical care system. While the number of patients requiring hospitalizations has increased, this coordinated effort and the work of Y-CERT have allowed us to ensure a medical care is allotted to both patients testing positive for the virus and for general care patients even during this crisis.
Today saw 156 new cases identified in the city. While that may seem low, the level of new cases continues to be high, with 1,173 cases in the last week. If this situation continues, the burden will intensify on our health care workers already giving it their all in the front lines against this virus. We must do whatever we can to suppress the spread of infections and maintain the medical care system. We must also work to achieve the conditions for the state of emergency to be lifted to help those businesses facing extremely difficult circumstances.
Based on the policies laid out by the national and Kanagawa governments, Yokohama will direct public facilities to close by 8 p.m. starting next week on January 12. Also, city-organized events will limit participants to half or less of the venue capacity, and to no more than 5,000 people.
Schools will not be temporarily closed, but preventive measures will be reinforced, and educational activities allowed to continue with strict attention paid to monitoring the health of students, faculty, and staff. Club activities and other events will be held after assessments on the risk of infection.
The Y-CERT special team that was mobilized for the year-end and New Year period will continue its work and doctors will remain on duty. The city will continue to work with its local health care providers and the Kanagawa Prefectural Government to maintain the medical care system. A vaccine support team will also be set up at the Health and Social Welfare Bureau to provide a steady supply of vaccinations that will help save lives. In the days ahead, personnel from our headquarters and various departments will be assigned to assist the care systems.
To all city departments: make your preparations and demonstrate leadership to help us put a stop to further infections. Make use of all opportunities or tools to raise awareness and make calls for residents as well as businesses and their related organizations and industries to fully understand and cooperate with the objectives of the state of emergency declaration.
In addition, take the lead in reinforcing infection prevention measures at facilities run by your offices, and based on your individual situations, implement remote working, use staggered commuting, rotate lunch scheduling, and refrain from communal dining.
To fully stop the spread of infection, it is of the upmost importance for each person to remain vigilant and ensure preventive measures are in place to curb the occurrence of new cases.
I once again call on our residents: please refrain from nonessential and non-urgent outings, especially after 8 p.m., to reduce the chance of contact with others. Avoid the five situations where the risk of infection is high, such as social gatherings involving alcohol, meals with many people or that last a long time, conversations without masks on, staying together in small areas, and when entering common rooms, smoking rooms, or changing rooms. Please also make use of remote working or staggered commuting hours. When indoors, observe basic preventive measures to avoid the “3 C’s,” ventilate rooms, wear masks, and wash hands and use disinfectants.
I also call on our local businesses: please cooperate with the policies outlined by the national and prefectural governments, such as shortening business hours to 8 p.m. at eating and drinking establishments and observing restrictions on holding events. Please refer to the guidelines for each industry and thoroughly implement infection prevention measures. Please also consider implementing remote working and staggered commuting and lunch hours to help reduce the number of staff in offices by 70% as well as the chance of contact with others when traveling.
The City of Yokohama will continue to coordinate with the national and prefectural governments, as well as our local medical institutions, to protect the lives and livelihoods of all our residents. Join our efforts and help us overcome this difficult situation together, to achieve the lifting of the state of emergency and the return to our everyday lives as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor on Kanagawa Pref. request for reduced business hours (2020.12.3)
Today, in accordance with Article 24, paragraph 9 of the Special Measures Law, Kanagawa Prefecture announced it will ask restaurants that serve alcohol and karaoke establishments in Yokohama and Kawasaki to reduce their business hours from December 7 (Monday), to December 17 (Thursday).
Yokohama has a neighbor in Tokyo, which has already requested businesses reduce their hours, and where 430 thousand of our residents commute for work and school. Additionally, with 94 new cases identified in Yokohama today, and looking at last week’s average of 86 per day, we are continuing to see a high number of new cases.
Yokohama will continue to work closely with Kanagawa Prefecture and Kawasaki, and commit our full efforts to prevent the spread of infection to ensure the lives and livelihoods of our residents are protected.
Currently, there are 450 people in the hospital. Of those, 363 people, 81% of the total, show mild or no symptoms, 65 people have moderate symptoms and comprise 14% of cases, and 22 people are experiencing severe symptoms, or 5% of total cases. 115 hospital beds are in use, occupying 23% of the 500 beds secured for patients with moderate to severe symptoms. The number of patients who require hospitalization is growing, so we must continue to be vigilant.
With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture and medical institutions, Yokohama is working to enhance medical care provided for patients testing positive, especially for those experiencing severe symptoms, while maintaining local day-to-day medical services. I once again wish to express my utmost respect and gratitude to the medical care workers working hard in the field.
We once again call on our residents: please ensure you are observing basic measures to prevent the spread of infection, such as wearing masks, avoiding the “three C’s,” and making sure rooms are ventilated. Additionally, to reduce contact with others, please limit your outings. When you meet others, we ask that you help reduce the risk of infection by gathering in small numbers and for a short time, as well as refraining from talking in loud voices.
We ask businesses for their cooperation in reducing hours as well as implementing remote work and staggered working hours.
Yokohama will devote our full efforts to work together not only with the national and prefectural governments and medical institutions, but also with our local residents and businesses to stem the tide of a surging spread of infections, and to balance infectious disease measures with socio-economic activity.
Message from the Mayor about COVID-19 (2020.11.13)
While the number of new COVID-19 cases in Yokohama had flattened since late September, the start of November has seen a rapid surge. Last week (November 6 to 12), the number new cases spiked to 383, or 1.5 times the number from the previous week, and the city is on high alert.
Currently, of the 265 people who are hospitalized, 219 present mild or no symptoms, comprising 83% of the total, and 13 are experiencing severe symptoms, or 5%. Also, 81 beds are occupied of the 500 secured for patients with severe or moderate symptoms, an occupancy rate of 16%. We will continue to ensure robust measures are in place to handle any future surges of infections.
The Yokohama Active Epidemiological Investigation Team (Y-AEIT) continues to actively conduct early on-site testing to present the spread of infections. They have been deployed over 200 times so far, and have administered PCR tests to over 8,600 people, including those who were not suspected of having been in contact with a person testing positive.
To ensure preventive measures against infection are in place and to achieve a revitalized economy, an additional supplemental budget to enable further response is under review for December. The city will further expand the number of medical institutions that can perform PCR testing from the current 600 locations. Call centers and other locations will provide enhanced consultation services. The city will also further increase transport availability for residents returning from abroad and outpatients who have been in contact with infected patients, as well as for transport to and from medical facility accommodations, from the current 11 vehicles.
In preparation for an increase in patients experiencing fever during the winter season of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city will continue to work with the national and prefectural governments as well as medical institutions to protect the lives and livelihoods of our residents.
e once again call on all residents:
If the number of cases continues to rise, there is concern about the impact on the health care system and public health services.
Please follow the below guidelines from the national government.
•Wear a mask at all times and avoid “3 C’s” situations where the risk of spreading infection is high.
•Make sure rooms are well ventilated.
•Refrain from gathering in large groups and speaking loudly, and please keep meetings short and conversation as quiet as possible.
In addition, we ask that businesses continue to refer to industry-specific guidelines and ensure that measures to prevent the spread of infection are rigorously implemented.
The actions each of us take will protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. Help our city overcome this challenging time together.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko regarding the new coronavirus (2020.8.7)
As the number of cases of new coronavirus infections continues to increase across the country, we see a need for a continued state of vigilance, as new cases are also being identified daily in Yokohama. Recently, infections at the workplace or at home have increased, and the age range of those infected is expanding.
Currently, there are 225 infected patients with mild or no symptoms, who account for 93% of total cases in the city, and around 800 hospital beds have been secured in Kanagawa Prefecture. Additionally, while the number of patients experiencing severe and moderate symptoms remain at three and 13, respectively, about 500 hospital beds have been prepared in Yokohama alone. The medical care system maintains an ample capacity. We will continue to coordinate with the prefectural government going forward.
With the approach of the season for the Bon Festival, I know many people will have the opportunity to go out or travel. If you do go out, we ask everyone to take precautions against infection: washing your hands often, wearing a mask, and avoiding the “three C’s.”
Also, talking when masks are removed at meals is one way the virus can spread to infect others. When dining in a group, please choose restaurants with preventive measures, and take care to refrain from dining in large groups or raising your voice.
The clouds of the rainy season have lifted, and hot weather has begun in earnest. Please take appropriate steps to avoid heat stroke, such as removing your mask when outdoors, while maintaining an appropriate distance from others as a preventive measure against infection. Senior citizens are asked to take extra care, as not only are they more likely to experience more severe symptoms of the new coronavirus if infected, they are also more vulnerable to heat stroke.
Response measures to COVID-19 are expected to continue for some time.
In addition to enhancing our PCR testing capacity, the City of Yokohama is providing subsidies for shop and restaurant owners to invest in preventive measures. The subsidy program has been well received, and since starting the program, nearly 6,000 applications were submitted in only three days.
We will continue to make every possible effort and work with the national and prefectural governments, as well as medical institutions, to protect the livelihoods of our residents by implementing preventive measures and moving to revitalize socio-economic activity.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the alert issued by Kanagawa Prefecture (2020.7.17)
Today, the Kanagawa Prefectural Government issued an official alert as a warning measure to encourage Kanagawa residents to rigorously implement and follow measures to prevent the spread of infection, including avoiding the “three C’s” and reducing opportunities for person-to-person contact.
At the New Coronavirus Disease Control Headquarters meeting yesterday, the City of Yokohama established a response policy according to the alert issued by Kanagawa and the status (or “phase”) of new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. Based on this policy, the city will continue to ensure comprehensive preventive measures are in place at public facilities and city-sponsored events.
The number of newly confirmed cases reported today in Yokohama was 14, and the daily case count has slight rising trend in the past few weeks. The most effective methods to prevent the further spread of infection are the thorough preventive steps taken by each individual resident. We ask that residents continue to follow safeguards and practice everyday preventive actions, such as refraining from visiting places that do not have measures in place to prevent infection, avoiding the “three C’s,” and incorporating the “new lifestyle” guidelines into their daily lives. We also ask that businesses adopt appropriate preventive measures.
The new coronavirus disease outbreak is expected to be prolonged, and for infections to reappear in waves. There are currently only around 13 patients showing moderate or worse symptoms in Yokohama, and local hospitals are well-equipped with beds at the ready to accommodate a resurge in patients. We will continue to work closely with medical institutions, as well as with the national and prefectural governments, to prevent any possibility of a collapse in the medical care system, to ensure measures are in place to prevent the spread of infection, and restore socio-economic activity as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko about State of Emergency end, new policy roadmap(2020.05.25)
The “Declaration of a State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” was lifted for the remaining five prefectures today, including Kanagawa, ahead of the May 31 target.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the cooperation from our residents and businesses, as well as for the dedicated efforts of our medical professionals, over the seven weeks since the state of emergency was declared on April 7.
We have faced an unprecedented situation with the state of emergency declaration. Going forward, I hope to work with residents and businesses to create a “new normal” and a new daily life.
In response to the state of emergency being lifted, the City of Yokohama’s basic policy direction will be to “prevent the spread of infection and drive socio-economic activity to create a new normal for residents.” The city will work under the two pillars of “resuming city projects and services as soon as infection control measures are in place,” and “providing active support for the recovery of economic activity based on national and prefectural policies.”
Starting in June, public facilities that were closed, civic services that were suspended, and city-sponsored events that were postponed or cancelled will soon reopen and resume once infection prevention measures are fully in place, based on national and prefectural policies, alerts, and specific guidelines.
Municipal schools will also reopen in stages, observing “staggered attendance,” “reduced school hours,” and other measures. This year will also have a shorter summer vacation, so school management will differ from a typical year. Teachers, parents, and the City of Yokohama will think of students first, and provide all the support we can.
We will promote activities in cooperation with the public to help prevent infection at shops and businesses. For example, we will work with shōtengai shopping districts and restaurant associations to raise awareness and support preventive measures at food and beverage establishments.
In addition, we hope to examine detailed plans for entertainment facilities like movie theaters and live music venues through dialogue with businesses.
Kanagawa Prefecture intends to rescind the request for business of all types to suspend their operations, on the condition that appropriate preventive measures are implemented based on industry-specific guidelines. Yokohama will coordinate closely with the prefecture to support businesses and take further measures as appropriate.
This month, the City of Yokohama compiled the largest-ever supplementary budget of 574.3 billion yen and an economic stimulus worth 769.4 billion to fund measures supporting daily life and the economy. The city is currently working under the three main pillars of protecting “lives and healthcare,” the “well-being of 3.75 million residents,” and the “vitality of Yokohama.”
Furthermore, in anticipation of the June City Council meeting, we will examine preventive measures in preparation for a second wave of the new coronavirus infections, as well as further measures to support daily life and the economy based on the national government’s second supplementary budget. To secure the needed funds for this purpose, we will make use of the public funds allocated in the second budget as well as review projects that were slated for the 2020 fiscal year.
Specifically, the budgets assigned to projects related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games that have already been cancelled or that will not proceed on schedule will be withheld. We will also consider delaying or cancelling projects that have little impact on residents’ lives or that do not address immediate problems.
I ask that Task Force members give thought to the actual situation faced by our residents and businesses: their needs and what problems they currently face. We will reevaluate city projects to secure funds and swiftly implement support measures while ensuring they reach the people and businesses that need them.
With the state of emergency lifted, the law does not require the city to maintain a task force headquarters. However, the virus has not been eradicated, and there is a possibility of a second wave. We will therefore keep the task force headquarters in place for now. The City of Yokohama will continue to be united in its resolve to protect the lives and livelihood of all our citizens. Thank you to all our task force headquarters personnel.
The number of new patients testing positive today was zero. While we should avoid becoming preoccupied with every single number, I believe today’s result was achieved thanks to the cooperation of our residents.
For its part, the City of Yokohama will maintain sufficient health care systems to prepare for a second wave. The economy is currently in a critical condition. It will come to a halt if restrictions are not lifted soon. If the economic wheels stop turning, it will be unable to maintain the daily lives of our residents. The city must respond to the prefecture’s policy of rescinding closure requests for businesses, regardless of industry. By placing socio-economic activity on track to recover, Yokohama will develop a new normal as soon as possible.
We continue to ask for cooperation from all residents. Please continue to take steps to protect yourselves, and the city will maintain its support for measures to prevent the spread of infections. Help us overcome this difficulty together.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the partial lifting of the state of emergency (2020.5.21)
Today, the national government announced its decision to lift the “State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” for an additional three prefectures, following the previous move for 39 prefectures on May 14. However, lifting the state of emergency was postponed for the Tokyo metropolitan area, including Kanagawa Prefecture.
The number of new patients testing positive for the new coronavirus in Yokohama last week was 38, a significant drop compared to the peak recorded number. Notably, only 10 cases with unknown routes of infection were identified, or 0.27 per 100,000 in the population, showing that infection in the city has slowed. In addition, while there are currently 43 hospitalized patients with moderate to severe symptoms, Yokohama has 500 beds secured for such patients. Along with ample room for more patients, the city’s medical care systems are being maintained without interruption.
The government will again consider lifting the state of emergency declaration on May 25. Once it is lifted, the city will reopen municipal schools and public facilities in stages, after ensuring infection prevention measures are fully in place.
The City of Yokohama will continue to dedicate its full energies to realize the return to a new daily life and the recovery of economic activity for its citizens as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the partial lifting of the state of emergency (2020.5.14)
The national government announced its decision today to lift the “State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” for 39 prefectures, including some prefectures that were identified for “special caution.” Those prefectures will resume full socio-economic activity while continuing to enforce infection prevention measures. Although the momentum of the spread of infection has slowed in Kanagawa Prefecture, it will remain under the state of emergency as we continue to see a steady number of new cases.
The City of Yokohama will cooperate with prefectural and local governments and do everything in our power to ensure the lifting of the state of emergency as soon as safely possible.
Over 100 patients tested positive for the virus in Yokohama on the week of April 6, but by the following week the number of new cases decreased to around 75, and as of the week of May 4 had dropped to 45 cases. In particular, the number of cases with unknown routes of infection has seen a distinct decrease, thanks to the combined efforts of our residents steadily taking shape.
The government will reevaluate lifting the state of emergency on May 21, and the City of Yokohama will focus on preparing to reopen municipal schools and public facilities in anticipation of the decision, as well as work to ensure the prevention of further outbreaks of infection.
The city will work steadfastly to provide support to our residents and businesses to help them overcome this challenging situation as swiftly as possible. We continue to ask for your understanding and cooperation.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko regarding the extension of the State of Emergency(2020.5.4)
The national government decided today to extend the “Declaration of a State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” until May 31 (Sunday) for the entire country. I believe this is an unavoidable measure, as the spread of infection across the country has not yet abated, and the medical care system continues to face a difficult situation.
In accordance with the extension of the state of emergency, the City of Yokohama will extend the temporary closure of municipal schools, postpone or cancel city-organized events, and close public facilities.
The city took part in several discussions with the Superintendent of the Board of Education about the simultaneous temporary municipal school closures as well as how to handle the transition and beyond, but in response to the government’s extension, the City of Yokohama Board of Education has decided to extend the temporary closure until May 31 (Sunday).
Children and their guardians will have to continue to stay home as students are unable to attend school. It pains me to think of the children looking forward to their first days of school life, or the students facing a great deal of anxiety before their exams, but we ask for your understanding during the current situation.
The City of Yokohama will make every effort to enhance students’ learning ability and properly ensure a healthy lifestyle to improve the current circumstances. The Board of Education will provide more learning opportunities by drawing on its achievements so far to further enhance its online educational video distribution. Maximum measures will be taken to enrich care for students who cannot stay at home, and to reopen schoolyards, to promote opportunities to encourage healthy living and development. Yokohama will work with the Board of Education to support children not just at school, but throughout the city.
The City of Yokohama has compiled the largest ever supplementary budget proposal of 574.3 billion yen to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus disease on daily life and the economy. Based on the situation going forward, the city will continue to enhance measures and do our utmost to protect our residents, businesses, and health care personnel.
To the residents of Yokohama: the actions of each and every one of us will protect lives, our loved ones, and the city as a whole. Help us overcome this difficulty together. We ask for your continued understanding and cooperation.
Message from the Mayor at the New Coronavirus Disease Control Headquarters Meeting (2020.4.15)
As of yesterday, the number of coronavirus cases in Yokohama reached a total of 181, with a record 36 new cases reported on April 11. The week of April 6-12 saw 106 new cases, a number 2.6 times greater than the previous week, and demonstrated the extremely high rate of infection.
To reassure our residents, the city expanded the number of lines from six to ten at the “Novel Coronavirus Patient or High-Risk Person Call Center” yesterday. The city will also add 10 extra lines to the “Yokohama Novel Coronavirus Call Center” for 20 total starting on April 17.
Inquiries to the two call centers saw a particularly sharp increase since the state of emergency was declared, and it has been difficult for all callers to get through. We regret any inconvenience caused. Now that the lines have been expanded, please feel free to call for a consultation if you are an individual or business with concerns.
In order to prevent the collapse of the medical system at any cost, the city has directed the Infectious Disease & Medical Coordination Headquarters Y-CERT to full-fledged operation.
In Yokohama, 181 total cases were confirmed as of April 14. Of these, four patients were shown to be seriously ill, while one showed moderate to severe symptoms, 11 had moderate symptoms, and seven had mild to moderate symptoms. With the cooperation of the Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Yokohama City Minato Red Cross Hospital, Yokohama City University Hospital, and Yokohama City University Medical Center, the city has secured 500 beds to accommodate patients with moderate or severe cases of the disease.
In addition, the APA Hotel & Resort Yokohama Bay Tower, along with the current Municipal Citizen’s Hospital building, will provide rooms for patients with mild illnesses and asymptomatic patients. The City of Yokohama will continue to work to secure additional facilities to realize the “Kanagawa Model” and prevent any collapse of the medical care system.
Based on the declaration of a state of emergency, many businesses are asked to temporarily close. Especially now, it is critical that the City of Yokohama provide support to its local businesses.
A speedy recovery once the coronavirus has abated also relies on halting the spread of infections and preventing the further loss of life.
I therefore call on all residents once again:
First, do not leave home in general unless it is important or urgent. When you must go out, be careful to avoid any situations involving “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” or “close-contact settings.” Please also make sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
The city’s water, sewage works, garbage collection, subways and buses, and other lifelines will continue to provide reliable service.
There are also no limitations about going out to buy essential items. Please exercise calm judgment, and we ask that you buy only what you need.
Access the City of Yokohama homepage to find a video message from my office as well as other related information.
Regarding the state of emergency : Request to all Yokohama residents
Thank you to all residents for your cooperation and understanding regarding the city’s efforts to prevent outbreaks of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
As you may be aware, the Government of Japan has declared a State of Emergency until May 6.
The City of Yokohama asks all residents to observe the following guidelines:
- Generally, do not leave your home except for essential needs.
- Stores providing essential everyday goods will not be asked to close. Rest assured that everyone will be able to buy essentials, and please only buy what you need and not hoard items.
- Depending on the goods and services provided, some educational institutions, shopping centers, and other places may be asked to close or reduce operating hours. However, hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as public transportation and other essential services, will remain open.
- Please make efforts to avoid events where multiple people may come within a close distance.
In addition to the above, please continue to be careful to:
- Frequently wash your hands and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing;
- Avoid situations that combine “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” and “close-contact settings.”
The City of Yokohama will work closely with Kanagawa Prefecture and do everything possible to provide support for all residents.
Joint appeal message from nine prefectures and designated cities
Five ways to protect yourself and your loved ones
To reduce the chance of contact between people by 80%
- Do not leave your home.
<In the event you must leave your home>
- Avoid the three “C’s” of “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” and “close-contact settings.”
- Keep a distance of at least 2 meters from others
- Wash your hands and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
- Buy only the food and medical supplies you need
We strongly urge everyone in these nine regions to follow the above measures to help us overcome this crisis.