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New measures to help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19)

18 March 2020

Given the pace of change of information please access the latest information on our coronavirus page.

A range of measures are being introduced by Rochdale Borough Council to help protect the public from the developing coronavirus outbreak.

The council is working with other public sector organisations, including local NHS services, the borough’s leisure and culture provider Link4Life, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, the voluntary sector and police, to ensure that all possible actions to help safeguard people are being taken.

Statutory services will be maintained and people will be contacted if they are going to be affected but some facilities must be stopped to help stop the spread of the virus, and enable the council to have enough staff available to support the most vulnerable.

Services are being focussed on the most vulnerable groups, including people aged over 70, to develop the borough’s response to the global pandemic.

In line with national advice, schools remain open but the situation is being monitored.

On Wednesday, 18 March 2020 the following decisions were taken (effective from Friday, 20 March 2020 unless otherwise stated):

  • Council meetings have been cancelled or cut back.
  • Council staff are working from home where possible to help ensure our workforce capacity is maintained.
  • Grants scheme is being set up for small and medium size businesses (SMEs).
  • All of the borough’s libraries, Touchstones Museum, theatres at Middleton Arena and Heywood Civic Centre have been closed until further notice.
  • Leisure centres will close at 10.30pm on Thursday, 19 March 2020.
  • Hollingworth Lake activity centre and visitor centre will close.
  • Rochdale Food & Drink Festival has been cancelled and the Bowlee Car Boot Sale season due to start on Sunday, 5 April 2020 has been postponed.
  • The Dippy exhibition is being suspended.
  • The council is helping to run Rochdale food bank and is working to ensure others in the borough remain open.

While some face-to-face customer services and limited IT access are being maintained at Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood libraries, there will be a reduction in the amount available. Therefore, we're asking you to:

  • Use the council website to access services whenever possible.
  • Closely follow national advice about coronavirus at all times.
  • Ensure elderly relatives, friends and neighbours are aware of the latest advice.
  • Help elderly and vulnerable people in any way you can but in a way that does not spread the virus.

Council leader Allen Brett said: “This is a grave and unprecedented threat to our health so we must take all necessary steps to protect our local populations. I have ensured that responding to the coronavirus situation is the council’s number one priority.

“Information and updates will be provided on a regular basis through our social media channels and with the help of our local media. We can beat this terrible virus but we must all work together and follow the advice as closely as possible if we are to do it.”