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Stepping up the fight against Coronavirus

Published 27th Mar 2020 by Shaida Khan

​Calderdale Council is taking further action in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19), announcing new closures and changes to its services.

This comes after the Government announced three tougher new measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the country on Monday 23 March 2020:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

The new national guidance means that every single Calderdale resident, no matter what their age or health, must only leave their house if it’s absolutely essential, ie:

  • to go to work (but work from home if possible);
  • to shop for groceries, medicine and other essentials (infrequently);
  • to exercise outside (once a day);
  • to provide care or help a vulnerable person or
  • for any medical need.

Please read the Government’s full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“Now, more than ever before, we need take care of each other. We all have the power to do that, with Calderdale’s innate kindness, by following the national guidance. That means changing our normal routines and stepping out of our comfort zone, but by doing this we can all fight against this unprecedented situation, protect each other and save lives. That’s why we have made further changes to Council services and will continue to adapt as the situation develops.

“As this is a very uncertain and challenging time and there is so much information out there, please make sure you only use information from reliable, trusted sources such as the Government, the NHS, Public Health England and the Council.”

In line with Government advice, the following further changes have been made to Council services from today (Tuesday 24 March 2020):

All Customer First offices are closed. 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 phone lines are very busy at this time.

All playgrounds are closed. Calderdale’s parks remain open to help people exercise outside – however, people must limit going out for exercise to once a day and must always stay two metres apart from other people. If people do not follow the social distancing guidelines, there may be no choice but to close parks. The Council will continue to monitor the situation.

Funeral services and burials are still going ahead, but attendance is limited to a maximum of 10 people. Free webcasts of services at the crematorium are available so that families and friends can choose to participate remotely from home. During this period, every service is being recorded and links will be sent to families to watch after the service.

Waste and recycling collections are going ahead as normal, although there are some delays due to reduced staffing. Residents are asked to continue to put out their recycling as normal. All Household Waste Recycling Centres and the Brighouse Revive Shop are now closed, and all bulky and garden waste collections are suspended until further notice (existing garden waste subscriptions will be carried over to 2021). Requests for wheelie bins, recycling containers, sacks or liners are also suspended. Please visit the disruptions web page for suggestions on alternatives: www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council-services-and-covid-19

If someone in your household shows symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important that extra care is taken with personal waste like tissues and disposable cleaning cloths. This includes double bagging the waste and storing for 72 hours before putting it out for collection. For further guidance, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus

Residents are also asked to ensure that cars are parked to allow access for service vehicles. Please fold in wing mirrors and avoid parking near to, or opposite, junctions so that larger vehicles have room to manoeuvre and collect waste and recycling.

All civic buildings and public halls are closed. All weddings and civil ceremonies which were due to take place between now and Thursday 30 April have already been postponed, and all gatherings of more than two people in public have been stopped.

All school crossing patrols have stopped. Calderdale schools are now closed for almost all children and young people. 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 and have no alternative.

Licensing is no longer being dealt with face-to-face, but online services are still available.

Licences to hold events are not being issued until further notice.

Council-run markets remain open, apart from Sowerby Bridge Outdoor Market. Markets are only open for essential food and fresh produce. The Council will keep the situation under review in light of developments and will keep all traders and the public updated should the situation change.

The Staying Well service is still accepting referrals, but no home visits are taking place. All clients are being contacted and offered help and support. If you know someone who is isolated or vulnerable, or if you are a community group and would like some advice, email stayingwellproject@calderdale.gov.uk, call 01422 392767 or visit StayingWellCalderdale on Facebook.

The ISCAL factory in Halifax is closed for at least three weeks. The factory produces coasters, napkins and other tissue-based products, and helps local people with disabilities to move into employment. The temporary closure aims to protect staff and respond to reduced demand from the leisure and catering sectors given the COVID-19 situation.

Home working and changed roles. The only Council staff who are now travelling to work are those who are critical to the Council’s response to COVID-19 – everyone who is able to work from home is doing so. Some members of staff are being redeployed from their usual role to support the Council’s response.

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.

Keep up-to-date using the trusted information at:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus


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