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Coronavirus - update: Thursday, 19 March

Coronavirus - update: Thursday, 19 March

Published by May Norman at 5:57am 19th March 2020. (Updated at 4:32pm 19th March 2020)

Coronavirus pandemic: Thursday, 19 March

Stray FM has put together an advice page - which can be found here.

We are also updating this interactive article DAILY, with the latest local information.

Here's what you need to know (this page will be regularly updated):


Bradford Council appealing for volunteers 

Bradford Council is setting up hubs to help support communities during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Council says people can help with the following things: 

  • Collect and deliver medication
  • Befriending / social support
  • Helping out at foodbanks
  • Pet care / dog walking
  • Check in via phone with people who may need it
  • Help 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

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


Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate closing temporarily 

Cedar Court Hotels have announced they are closing three of their four sites in Yorkshire temporarily because of coronavirus.  

The sites which will close are Harrogate, Bradford and Huddersfield.  

180 jobs will be lost in total, including around 30 staff in Harrogate, 

The closures are temporary, however, and the company hopes to re-open the sites from 1st May.  


RSPCA still rescuing and rehoming animals 

The RSPCA is reassuring people that it is continuing to rescue and rehome animals despite the coronavirus outbreak.  The charity has four wildlife centres and four animal hospitals across England and Wales.  It has put contingency plans in place to cope with the virus outbreak.  


£1m for struggling workers in North Yorkshire 

North Yorkshire County Council has promised £1million for residents who are struggling to pay for household expenses.

It has told workers to work from home and will hold virtual meetings.  

Harrogate Borough Council has cancelled almost all of its meetings until further notice.

Council leader Coun Carl Les said:

“Supporting those in need is one of the most important things we can do. We have a vital role to play in helping our residents deal with the challenges ahead over the next few months.

“This additional funding will help those most in need with life’s essentials in what is already a very trying time.”


Harrogate leisure centres, swimming pools and gyms staying open 

Leisure centres and swimming pools run by Harrogate Borough Council remain open with enhanced cleaning regimes.

The authority said it is following national guidelines in keeping its five swimming pools in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Nidderdale, Ripon and Starbeck open to the public.

A message on the council’s website said:

“Our five swimming pools, our leisure centres and all Brimhams gyms are currently open as usual.  We’ve increased routine cleaning in response to the pandemic.

“There are currently no plans to restrict access to these facilities unless national guidance changes. We are reviewing this position on daily basis.”

Similar facilities in West Yorkshire are closed.  


Warning about scams during outbreak 

Trading Standards are warning people about scammers taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.  




Breath of fresh air

We may be encouraged to carry out social distancing but that doesn't stop many of Harrogate and Knaresborough's keen runners.

The Early Bird Running club meet every morning at the Centaph and Market Cross but since restrictions brought in by the Prime Minister earlier this week that's not been possible.

Instead, members have been encouraged to set off from their own doorsteps at 6am and 6.30am to still keep active.

Ben - who runs the group - has been asking for runners to share their selfies with the group on social media. And that's exactly what they've been doing:


West Yorkshire Police reassure public 

West Yorkshire Police say they are working to keep the public safe amid the ongoing threat from coronavirus.    The force say they will continue to provide services to the public during the outbreak.  But they are urging people to "think carefully" before calling 999 or 101 to manage demand on the force.  


Let's talk rubbish!

Harrogate Borough Council is working hard to make sure waste and recycling collections (including garden waste) take place as usual, but some disruption is anticipated.

A council spokesperson told us:

"We are prioritising the collection of waste from black wheelie bins/sacks given the nature of the coronavirus outbreak.

"If collections are affected, we will try and let residents know. In terms of vital services, we are still doing everything we can to support residents." 

More information can be found here.


Potential transport problems

Train, coach and bus operators have started cutting services due to the coronavirus.

Services on Northern Trains, South Western Railway, and Great Western Railway could all be cancelled at short notice.

The UK's largest operator of scheduled coach services, National Express, says it will reduce its capacity by 80 percent.


More heartwarming stories

The good in the community just keeps on coming.......


Who doesn't love cake!

Despite the big supermarkets running out of stock, local shops still have items - so head down to your high street and buy from the independents and smaller stores.


Stray FM is supporting all

'Open for Business' was launched yesterday - where local companies can list their details for free - advertising any changes to opening hours or deliveries etc.

It's a chance for us to support and promote ALL local businesses.

If you're from a business and haven't yet included your details, then what are you waiting for......!


Otley is open for business

Many businesses are finding the current climate a struggle.

Otley BID (Otley Business Improvement District) has an update on everything Otley on its website.

It's encouraging everyone to support each other and the business community by shopping local during these difficult and uncertain times.

It's working with the Otley Chamber of Trade to support those in need:


Mindless thieves

Words escape me! 😠


Many local companies continue to adapt and support the community

Keep up the great work guys!


Parkruns across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale cancelled

People who're hoping to swap the gym for a park run are now being told the events are being cancelled until the end of the month. 

There are events in Harrogate, Skipton, Fountains Abbey, Wetherby and Knaresborough.

The same action's already been taken in more than 20 other countries.


Local confirmed cases

Official figures show that 11 more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in North Yorkshire.

There are 12 in Leeds and 8 in Bradford.

The latest figures show another 676 confirmed cases in the UK since Tuesday - taking the total to 2,626.



School closures

All schools to close across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale from Friday until further notice (for all except vulnerable and Children of Key workers).

The Government announced the measure for ALL schools during its daily media briefing.

Some have already closed today or have partial closures in place due to staffing issues due to the outbreak.

  • North Yorkshire - more information here.
  • Leeds City Council - more information here
  • Bradford City Council - more information here.

Great Knaresborough Bed Race is off!

For the first time in its history, the Great Knaresborough Bed Race has been cancelled.

Organisers met to discuss the event last night (Wednesday, 18 March).

They decided that in the current climate it would be 'socially irresponsible' to go ahead with the event.