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Residents urged to follow health guidance and stop the risk of spreading coronavirus during warm weekend

Published: Friday, 3rd April 2020

Residents are warned not to burn garden rubbish or go out of their local area on bike rides as part of measures to stop the risk of spreading the coronavirus during the warm weekend ahead.

Residents are warned not to burn garden rubbish or go out of their local area on bike rides as part of measures to stop the risk of spreading the coronavirus during the warm weekend ahead.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is stressing national health guidance to stay at home and safe lives, encouraging residents to: ‘act like you’ve got it, anyone can spread it.’ The warning comes as temperatures are expected to rise to 18 degrees on Sunday (5 April).

Council leader Abi Brown said: “Let’s be clear: if you go out, you can spread the disease. People will die. We urge people to continue to follow critical health guidance and be extra vigilant as the temperature increases over the weekend. If you are going into your garden, don’t burn off your garden waste. We know that brown bin collections are temporarily suspended during the outbreak, but look to home compost instead – smoke can aggravate health conditions and fires can potentially get out of control. Please don’t put any additional pressure on emergency services at this time.

“If you are planning a bike ride, the message is also clear: do not travel into the surrounding countryside to ride your bike – stay at home and cycle in your local area. People across the city have been incredibly responsible in responding in the right way to this national emergency; please do continue to be vigilant at this time.”

The warning also comes as people are asked not to congregate in parks, in line with national guidance.

The local centre, located on the ground floor of One Smithfield in Hanley, is now closed to the public until further notice. The public reception at the Civic Centre, in Stoke, is also closed to the public but will remain open for staff only to access the building, and for external visitors attending essential meetings. 

Should residents need to, there are still a number of ways they can make payments without coming to any council building. Residents are encouraged to make business rates payments and council tax payments online.  

Stoke Indoor Market continues to operate, following national health guidance, and stallholders are offering a delivery service to customers.

Meanwhile, the council has received a 120 per cent increase in demand for allotments since the outbreak, and council teams are working to match people with available pitches. Allotment holders must follow national heath guidance on social distancing, handwashing for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching their face and not holding communal gatherings.

The city council through their #StokeonTrentTogether initiative, a campaign by the council and voluntary sector partner VAST to support vulnerable households through the pandemic, is writing to 13,000 people aged over 70 to let them know that help is there if they don’t have family and friends to support them.

Councillor Brown said: “The support from a whole range of partners and volunteers through this campaign is having a huge positive impact. People who are isolating or shielding and cannot get out to buy food are asked to contact the campaign, where volunteers may be able to go shopping for them. Additionally, collective work by a range of partners is taking place to secure and distribute food supplies across the city for those in financial hardship or fuel poverty.

“Residents are continuing to make generous donations to supermarket collection points, food banks and to Fenton Manor Sports Complex. All donations are welcomed, especially nappies, baby food, pasta, rice and tinned goods. The Literacy Trust, working with Stoke-on-Trent Business Improvement District, has donated 800 books to the campaign, and these are now being distributed. It is through wonderfully uplifting acts of kindness, and the friendly supportiveness of local people that our city is famous for, that we will get through this most testing of times.”

Residents can access the #StokeonTrentTogether website via www.corona19.vast.org.uk, or call 0800 5615610.

#StokeCares, a campaign to recruit extra people to help to deliver home care to the city’s most vulnerable residents, has now already seen 59 council staff from services that have closed because of the coronavirus be retrained to deliver care. A total of 13 further applications from residents are being processed since a public recruitment drive launched two days ago.

Anybody interested in #StokeCares can visit https://www.stoke.gov.uk/jobs and search for ‘casual care worker (personal wellbeing assistant)’ or can call 01782 238019 for more information.

A summary of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which passed into law on 26 March is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-bill-what-it-will-do/what-the-coronavirus-bill-will-do.

For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit Public Health England: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The importance of this action cannot be underestimated.

For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.