Calderdale Council is urging everyone in the borough to help protect each other by following the national guidance on social distancing and staying at home.
This comes as the Government warns that social contact by everyone, both young and old, is speeding up the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and putting people at increased risk.
To support the need for social distancing, Calderdale Council is announcing further temporary closures and changes to its services to help keep staff and residents safe and well. This follows the previously announced temporary closures of Council-run leisure and culture venues.
For all Council services – if you or someone you live with has any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend any Council buildings or sites – it’s important that you stay at home.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“Each and every one of us plays a part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Calderdale is full of kindness – let’s continue to take care of each other in these unprecedented times. By washing our hands and keeping our distance from other people, we’re keeping our whole community as safe and well as possible.
“We haven't taken our decisions on service closures and changes lightly, but we’ve taken them to protect local people and staff as much as we possibly can. This is always our top priority.”
Paul Butcher, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, added:
“Everyone in Calderdale, no matter how young or old, needs to limit social contact at all times to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are healthy, please don’t ignore the impact that this virus can have on you and other people.
“The two most important things you can do to protect yourself and others is to stay at home if you, or someone you live with, have symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature and / or a new and continuous dry cough) and to reduce your contact with all people and keep at least two metres apart from each other at all times.
“As well as social distancing, you can reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 by washing your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance.”
All Calderdale libraries will be closed from 5pm on Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice. As the Council knows what an important part libraries play in many people’s lives, its Home Library Service is currently continuing as normal, and will be enhanced with support from staff redeployed from other library services and with volunteers from the virtual volunteer hub.
People can sign up for the Home Library Service on the Council's website or by calling 01422 288060 / 288062. The libraries web page is open 24/7 and this can be used to renew books as well as offering other resources. There will be no library fines during the closure period.
Any weddings or civil ceremonies due to take place between now and Thursday 30 April will be postponed. Registrars will be contacting everyone affected. At present, no new bookings are being taken for this year. For more information please see Council Services and COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
From today (Monday 23 March), Calderdale schools, sixth forms, colleges, nurseries, childminders and other registered childcare settings are closed for almost all children and young people to help with social distancing in response to COVID-19. The safest place for children is at home – if they can be safely cared for at home, they should be. Please only send your child to school if you are a key worker with no alternative. For more information about the continuation of free school meals, please read the national guidance. Please note that free childcare offers are continuing during the COVID-19 closures.
The Council’s Customer First offices in Halifax and Brighouse are open as normal. However, changes to service delivery have been made to protect staff and customers. It’s important that people please support and comply with these changes. If possible, please use the information and online services at www.calderdale.gov.uk in the first instance. The Council’s advisors can also be contacted on 01422 288001, but be aware that our phone lines are very busy at this time.
If you have a Blue Badge which is due to expire between 1 April and 30 June 2020, please note that if you are unable to renew it online, you should not attend Customer First to do so. No enforcement action will be taken against anyone with a Blue Badge that has expired during this period.
To keep young people and others protected from COVID-19, Calderdale Youth Service has closed its open sessions in buildings (youth clubs) from today (Monday 23 March). Youth workers are still providing outreach support to young people out in their communities, away from buildings and in line with social distancing and stay at home guidance. The Youth Service is keen to maintain contact with young people during this unprecedented period of change to normal life. One-to-one support via mobile and web-based contact will continue with more vulnerable young people. The aim is to encourage young people to take part in positive activities at a safe distance and to reduce any anti-social behaviour.
Calderdale Adult Learning closed from 5pm on Friday 20 March until further notice. All learners have been contacted. Where possible, learning will still be delivered through a mix of online and other remote methods which tutors will communicate to learners.
For more information about all Council closures and changes to services, please visit Council Services and COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The Council continues to work on all aspects of the response to COVID-19. At its Cabinet meeting on Monday 16 March, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Swift, announced a 10-point plan detailing how the Council will respond to the risks related to COVID-19.
Keeping well, physically and mentally, is really important if you’re social distancing. Your usual sports club may not be running, but there are lots of things you can do to stay active and still practise social distancing – follow Active Calderdale on twitter for some great ideas. Equally, make sure you look after your mental health. This advice from the BBC gives you some ideas on how to do that.
The Council continues to closely monitor the rapidly developing situation and rigorously follow national guidelines. All services are ready to adapt as necessary.
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