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Coronavirus – latest update from Bradford Council

COVID-19 update – 19 March 2020

Thank you

We would like to thank all residents and community groups in bearing with us in the changes that are taking place across council services in response to the challenges faced by COVID-19.

We have now closed Bradford Council-run museums and galleries, sport and leisure centres, theatres and residential outdoor centres for the foreseeable future as well as stopping all events, tourism services and training courses.

Schools across the UK are to shut from Friday until further notice as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, except for looking after the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children.

From Monday, 23 March, all our Council managed libraries will only open from 10am until 2pm, Monday to Saturday only, due to the current coronavirus situation. Some community managed libraries are closed until further notice. Full details are on our website.

The situation is changing very quickly and we will aim to keep you updated with changes and any further updates through our email alerts and social media.

Co-ordinated response – Gold

Senior leaders from the Council, police, fire, health and social care, housing, voluntary sector, business and faith communities continue to meet on a more frequent basis, to fasten the pace in preparing and now implementing activity, as we continue to see the rapid changes we all facing.  The meetings will allow leaders to connect and share ideas, resources and staff across the network to operate services effectively.

Community support

Bradford Council is teaming up with the NHS, Public Health England and the voluntary sector to find the best way to provide support to communities affected by Coronavirus.

People wanting to volunteer to help during the coronavirus response should call Bradford Council on 01274 431000 to leave their name and contact details.

Vulnerable people who have a particular need can also leave their details which will be passed on to the relevant service.

We will be setting up five constituency based co-ordination centres run by the voluntary and community sectors.

Along with food banks, they will help to distribute food to those needing it and also with co-ordinating volunteers to help people affected or self-isolating at home.

These could include but are not limited to:

  • collecting and delivering medication
  • befriending / social support
  • advice and signposting
  • addressing potential additional needs at foodbanks
  • pet care and dog walking
  • checking in via phone with people who may need it
  • helping a vulnerable person with practicalities like food shopping and deliveries.
  • adding capacity to key services like social care and health in case of staff shortages

We are also developing a smartphone app so volunteers can download information about how best to help and to pinpoint where help is most needed.

Cllr Abdul Jabar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “We know that the response to coronavirus will bring out the best in people who will volunteer to help their neighbours in the spirit of People Can. Thank you to all the people who are already helping out in their neighbourhoods.

“By working in partnership with our colleagues in other services, we can organise the most effective ways for that selfless public-spirited behaviour to be used most effectively. There is some great work going on already and this new service will help to underpin those efforts.

“While these arrangements are being put in place, we would ask people to look after anyone in their neighbourhood who needs help.”

Latest Government update

The Prime Minister made the first of his daily statements on Monday, 16 March providing more guidelines and advice to those vulnerable groups, also action to be taken when self-isolating to stay safe and healthy.

Guidance on social distancing

Public Health England have put together some guidance for everyone, advising on  social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers.

Information and advice for shoppers

Supermarkets are urging shoppers not to buy more than they need and not to stockpile unnecessarily. UK retailers are asking for customers to be considerate in their shopping and have reassured customers that there are enough essential items for everyone as long as people shop responsibly.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

The advice from the NHS is to protect yourselves and reduce any risks by practicing good hand hygiene. Specifically:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • wash your hands with soap and water often for 20 seconds
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are not clean

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. Use the NHS 111 online service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 online coronavirus service at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

Helpful links

Coronavirus UK government response

NHS coronavirus advice and information

Government travel advice

Guidance for employers and businesses

Bradford district coronavirus advice and information