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latest information on our coronavirus page.
The leader of the council is calling on everyone in the borough to pull together to help stop the spread of coronavirus, which will protect people’s lives and safeguard the vital services that are needed to keep the most vulnerable safe.
Council workers are being mobilised to keep essential services running and provide additional support in areas where there will be increased demand but some things will have to be cut back or scaled down to help prioritise services.
Councillor Allen Brett has made responding to the outbreak the council’s number one priority and staff from across the organisation have been mobilised to create a support network for those most vulnerable to the virus.
A number of buildings - including all of the borough’s 17 libraries, and council-owned theatres and gyms – have been closed to the public to help slow the spread of the virus. Extra support is being provided to care homes, vulnerable adults, older people and local care providers.
The council is working towards creating coronavirus response centres in Middleton, Heywood, Littleborough and Rochdale. More details will be available early next week.
Supermarkets have also been contacted about food supply chains and a local communication campaign aimed at giving residents the information they need to stay safe and well is being developed.
Council staff are also supporting schools so that they can continue running for the children of workers who are most needed in the fight against the virus.
However, Councillor Brett believes that the council’s rapid response, which is being supported by other agencies like the NHS, Link4Life, the police and community and voluntary organisations, must be accompanied by an unprecedented display of solidarity and support from people in every part of the borough.
“We can beat this terrible virus but we can only do it if we all work together,” Councillor Brett said. “These are exceptional circumstances and we need an exceptional response. The people of Rochdale are known for their resilience and community spirit. When times are hard we pull together and do whatever is needed to get through. Now more than ever we need the Rochdale spirit to shine through these dark times.”
Councillor Brett is also calling on the government to urgently review funding to councils to make sure they have the necessary resources to fight coronavirus: “We have had 10 years of cuts and the services we need the most right now have been reduced to dangerous levels. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor should consider very carefully how these services are supported now and in the future.”
What you can do to help:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- Only travel on public transport if you need to
- Work from home, if you can
- Avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- Avoid events with large groups of people
- Use phone, online services or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family