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20 March 2020

COVID-19 Multi Agency Update - Friday 20 March

Cumbria County Council

Schools

Parents will be contacted by their child’s school to inform them if the school will be open for children of parents who are essential workers. If the school is unable to open, parents who are essential workers will be asked to take their child to another local school. There will be no school transport provision. Children should not attend school before 9.30am on Monday. Uniforms should be worn as usual.

Parents who are not essential workforce should make alternative childcare arrangements.

Nurseries and Early Years settings

We have asked nurseries and early years settings to close on Monday to all except children of parents who are essential workers and who cannot make alternative childcare arrangements. This is in line with Government guidance. Parents should be contacted by their child's setting to inform them if they will be open for children of essential workforce, and if not where the nearest alternative is.

Parents who are not essential workforce should make alternative childcare arrangements.

An explanation of 'essential workforce' can be found here.

 

Barrow Borough Council

Free parking between the hours of 8am until 10am and 3pm until 5pm will be introduced in all Barrow Borough Council operated car parks from tomorrow, Saturday, March 21.

This is to help support town centre businesses and also residents who will need to go into town to purchase supplies but who will also want to minimise non-essential time away from home or work.

Our front facing contact points at Barrow Borough Council are now closed to the public until further notice as we take all precautions available to protect the health of staff, residents and visitors.

A list of phone numbers are available from the news section of our website: barrowbc.gov.uk

The Bulky Waste Collection Service is now suspended until further notice, though pre-booked collections will still go ahead.

 

Carlisle City Council

Shopmobility

From Monday 23 March, Shopmobility customers will be able to access the service earlier than usual. The service opening hours will alter to 8am - 1pm, Monday to Friday. This is in line with some retailers opening their doors sooner to give preferential access to vulnerable residents.

The opening times are subject to change and the service will continue to adhere to government guidelines.

Opening times were previously 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday. The service is based in The Lanes Shopping Centre, Carlisle.

Changes to operating hours

The operating hours for The Sands Centre and Pools will change from Monday 23 March. From Monday, there opening hours will be:

The Sands Centre

Monday - Friday                  9am - 8pm

Saturday & Sunday             9am - 4pm    

Carlisle Pools

Monday - Friday                   6:30am - 10am & 3pm - 8pm

Saturday & Sunday             8am - 2pm

 

Allerdale Borough Council

Garden waste 

The council has suspended the collection of garden waste from Monday, March 23.  

The decision has been made reluctantly but is necessary to protect other collections, such as domestic waste, during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Not collecting green waste will free up crews and vehicles to meet core service priorities.  

Glass, cans and plastic, paper and cardboard, trade waste and household waste collections are all unaffected by the decision.  

The suspension is in place until further notice but the council aims to resume collections as soon as possible. The situation will be reviewed in June. 

Business support 

We’ve been updating our website with the latest coronavirus-related information for businesses and the various pieces of support on offer. This is a fast-moving situation so guidance is chaging regularly and councils are still waiting on details for some of these schemes. The round-up of business information can be found at: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-information-and-advice-businesses/ 

Further to this we’ve included a section of advice for those businesses who are offering food takeaways/deliveries where they normally wouldn’t. This advice can be found here: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-information-and-advice-businesses/coronavirus-guidance-food-establishments-providing-takeaways/ 

Digital services 

To help reduce the risk of infection, the council is continuing to encourage its customers to avoid using its customer service centres where possible and to access its services through its digital channels. The council’s website has a number of online forms, as well as a bin collection calendar and facility to report a missed bin. There is also a webchat service to contact a customer service staff member. Many of these services are also available via the ‘myAllerdale’ app which can be downloaded from the app store. 

 

Copeland Borough Council

The Beacon Museum and Portal are now closed until further notice.

The team has taken the regrettable decision in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to help delay the spread of the virus.

The museum’s Bears! exhibition was due to start on March 28 and will now be delayed until the museum can reopen, and the Whitehaven West Coast Photo festival, also due to start on March 28, has been postponed.

However, the museum team will use its enforced closure to extend its commitment to the community and will offer learning, fun and engagement through its social media channels.

Elizabeth Kwasnik, Museum Director, said: “We have already installed our spring exhibition, Bears!, and we remain hopeful that this fantastic interactive exhibition can be enjoyed by the public when the time is right.

“We also hope to reschedule the West Coast Photo festival, run in collaboration with Signal Film and Media in Barrow, in the near future.

“We are naturally very disappointed to have closed. But if we can’t offer you a great day out for the time being, we are committed to engage with you in your homes on local history, the arts and science. For example, Baxter the Bear will be looking at objects of a historical interest in a series of short, fun videos released over coming weeks.”

“We look forward to welcoming you our loyal visitor audience back to the museum in the not too distant future, and in the meantime, we wish everyone health and peace of mind in these uncertain times.”

Connect with The Beacon Museum team via Facebook, Twitter (@TheBeaconMuseum) and at www.thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk.

 

Cumbria Police

Police are urging members of the public not to display posters identifying themselves as vulnerable in order to prevent criminals from targeting them.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, said:

“We are proud to see our communities coming together to support each other at this critical time, especially those amongst us that need extra help.

“Whilst we encourage this support as it is vital, we are concerned about some posters that are circulating for people to put on their door to let people know they are vulnerable.

“Whilst we all need to think of innovative ways to identify and support our vulnerable neighbours, displaying any sign that identifies a householder as vulnerable could lead to unintended consequences and that house being targeted by criminals.”

 

Assistant Chief Constable appeals to the community to stop unnecessary socialising

Following the announcement and guidance introduced by the government earlier this week about social distancing, click here, Cumbria Police are appealing to people and businesses to limit social contact to save lives.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery is the Constabulary lead for Coronavirus response and Chair of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum that is responsible for the multi-agency response to civil emergencies said:

“This week the government advised us to take some drastic steps to slow down the spread of Covid-19 which is having a major impact on our community both locally and nationally.

“We were asked to cut down on all unnecessary travel and socialising and follow “social distancing” guidance and not socialise in pubs, clubs, cinemas, theatres, restaurants etc. These are huge steps that impact on our lifestyle. No-one wants to avoid socialising with friends and family, but the reality is we have to.

“We must all take notice if we want to reduce the spread, and impact of this virus to help our colleagues in the NHS to be able to cope with an increase in demand for critical care. Our hospitals are already caring for critically ill patients.”

“I am pleased to see that many people in Cumbria are following this guidance but we see that many people are simply carrying on as normal.

“I appeal to everyone in Cumbria to please stop unnecessary travel and unnecessary socialising because this is the only way we will reduce deaths. We all need to play our part, and do this now.”

“Many in our community feel they may not be affected by the virus as they are young, or fit and healthy but the Chief Medical Officer has warned that this virus can be life-threatening to young people too”.

“We cannot and should not take comfort, from the fact that victims are mostly the elderly or chronically ill because they are all human lives and we owe it to those people to limit our activities now. Please think about those vulnerable people who are scared and alone as they seek to take shelter in their homes. Please do everything you can to support them”

“It is also disappointing to see that we’ve had an increase in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour, so please speak to your young people, let them know how serious the situation is and the importance for them to limit their socialising too. As young people are sent home from school, please ask them to stay at home and not, as we have found, congregating in groups in the towns across the county.”

“We are one of the most sparsely populated counties so social distancing should be possible for all of us. If you are going out on the fells, rivers or coastline please stay within your limits and do not place additional burden on emergency services and the NHS through avoidable accidents.”

“These measures will undoubtedly have a terrible impact on the local economy and we all hope that HM Government find ways to support our local industries but I would ask business owners to consider whether continuing to attract groups of people to come together is socially responsible.”

“We are aware that a number of people are coming to the county and using their second homes or holiday homes to seek shelter away from more densely populated areas. This may place an additional burden on local services and I would ask those visitors to ensure that they practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus here in Cumbria.”

“As the weekend approaches, I’d ask everyone to STOP and THINK whether their visits to the pub, restaurant or cinema are really worth it?

“We ALL need to limit our socialising and travelling now so that we can reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. That’s how serious this is. ”

 

Covid-19: Police urge vigilance against cyber fraudsters

Police are urging people to be vigilant of the threat from fraudsters exploiting the Covid-19 outbreak to steal money and sensitive data online.

The public is being advised to follow online safety advice. Officers are asking people to be aware of scam emails and rely on only trusted sources of information.

Examples of scams include emails notifying people they are eligible for tax rebates or bogus online maps claiming to show the spread of the disease, which then infect devices when you click on them.

Detective Constable Jon Hill, of Cumbria Constabulary’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit, said: “The public obviously has a thirst for information in these difficult times.

“People are at home and they may go looking for information online about Covid-19.

"The problem comes if they start clicking on unreliable web pages or opening links and attachments often sent by email - a common form of scam called 'phishing'.

“We need people to follow and rely on only trusted sources of information and be aware of all suspect emails with supposed information on COVID-19, not to open any links or attachments that come with them and delete those emails.”

Ransomware - Advice For Businesses

DC Hill added: “Ransomware is a key priority for businesses to protect themselves against.

"This form of malicious software prevents you from accessing your computer, with suspects normally requesting you make a payment (the ransom) to unlock it.

"Such attacks can have a devastating impact on business, more so in these times as businesses, their IT companies and the wider security industry may have less capacity to respond to these attacks with staff being abstracted or self-isolated.

"It is vital companies make regular backups of important files that are not connected directly to the network or their devices.

"Keep your operating systems and apps updated and ensure you use anti-virus software, keep it turned on and up-to-date.

"
You should always report any such attack on your company.

“For all the public: Our advice for people is to follow the guidance they can access below.”

Everybody can find advice for their online safety and internet security from the National Cyber Security Centre: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/

To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


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Cumbria County Council COVID-19 Update for 20 March