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Coronavirus - update: Thursday, 26 March

Coronavirus - update: Thursday, 26 March

Published by May Norman at 6:31am 26th March 2020. (Updated at 5:45pm 26th March 2020)

Coronavirus pandemic: Thursday, 26 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):


Keighley and Ilkley families urged not to visit care homes 

Bradford Council has asked people not to visit care homes to protect residents from coronavirus.

Care homes will be asking families not to visit except in exceptional circumstances, when only one visitor will be allowed at a time by appointment, following the latest social distancing advice.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby said:

“We know this is a hard time for all families who have a loved one living in a care home or who need additional adult social care services. But we can reassure you, one of our key priorities is to ensure the safety of those who might need this support.

“If you are in a residential care setting, it is likely that the care home will be asking visitors not to visit except in exceptional circumstances following the latest social distancing advice."



#lightitblue campaign for NHS 

Landmarks across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale will be lit up blue tonight in a show of support for the NHS.  

The campaign has been organised by events and entertainment leaders.

You can find out more here.  


WATCH: Video Message by West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable

John Robins QPM talks about the ongoing threat from the Coronavirus pandemic, and new police powers to help keep people safe and slow the spread.




Keighley and Ilkley urged to ‘Clap for Carers’ 

Bradford Council is encouraging people to join in the ‘Clap For Carers’ tonight.

The event will see people from across the country take part in a mass round of applause for those working in the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council is encouraging as many people as possible from across the whole of the district to get involved by applauding either outdoors or through open windows at 8pm tonight for all workers in the NHS, including doctors, nurses, GPs, pharmacists and emergency workers.




Some construction sites in Harrogate closing 

Housebuilders in Harrogate have started shutting down their construction sites.

Persimmon, Barratt and Stonebridge Homes have joined others in pledging to down tools to help protect workers from the coronavirus.

The government has said work can continue so long as people are two meters apart – but building bosses were left scratching their heads as to how this could be enforced on busy construction sites.



Essential maintenance on North Yorkshire roads

Highways workers in North Yorkshire are helping keep the roads safe for essential services.

North Yorkshire County Council says contractors are still at work maintaining roads across the county. Workers are practicing social distancing to protect themselves.  





Message from Harrogate Borough Council 

The Chief Executive and Leader of Harrogate Borough Council have issued a joint statement. 

Wallace Sampson and Councilor Richard Cooper say details of funding relief for businesses will be made available on the council website in due course.

They are also offering their commercial tenants three months of free rent. 

You can read their full statement here


Waiting rooms closed at Northern train stations 

All waiting rooms at Northern train stations are closed until further notice.. 

Passengers still need tickets but they no longer have to pass tickets through barriers when entering stations.

Northern's also suspended the issuing of penalty fares until further notice. 


Help for vulnerable people in Otley 

Otley BID has compiled a directory on its website of businesses and organisations who are open and supply in essential food and services. 

They include greengrocers, household goods shops and butchers.  

You can find out more here


Need something to keep the kids busy? 

Bill Plant Driving School has launched a 'colour our car competition'. 

The Ripon-based business says it wanted to create something fun for kids to do whilst they were at home. 

It's open to all school age children in the UK. 

Find out more here


Watch where you park 

Bradford Council is urging people to be considerate about where they're parking. 

With more people working from home, the council says its bin wagons are struggling to access some streets. 

You can read more here


Viral Dad returns! 

Do you remember this viral video from around a year ago? 

Professor Robert E Kelly's BBC interview was hilariously gatecrashed by his kids. 

Well today he's returned to our screens, with his family, to talk about working from home with kids. Never change Prof Kelly and family! 


Community pharmacists report being attacked 

Can you believe this?! 

In a survey of the 152 Community Pharmacies in North Yorkshire 43.5% reported that they have been subject to violent and abusive behaviour in the past 5 days.

You can read more on this story here


Plea from network Rail to find former signalers 

Network Rail is appealing for former professional signallers in Yorkshire to help make sure the railway can continue running during the coronavirus crisis.

It says it needs to keep signal boxes running 24/7 to allow key workers such as doctors and nurses to continue travelling to work and means vital food and medical supplies can be transported across the country via freight services.

It wants retired signallers, or those who have moved to other careers in the railway industry to come forward. 

It's anticipating disruption in the next few weeks as some members of the workforce may need to self-isolate. 


Help for businesses in Harrogate 

With the government announcing a number of relief packages for businesses, Harrogate Borough Council is urging people to be signed up to receive the latest information. 

The council says it will be using its Business@Harrogate  e-newsletter as the main way to share information about business support as quickly and widely. 
Here is a link to the 25 March Business@Harrogate enewsletter. They'll be issuing a further update on Friday and then at frequent intervals.

Businesses are being urged to subscribe if they haven't already. People can do this by sending an email to with the word 'subscribe' in the subject box.


Father Christmas delivers special message

Calling all mums and dads, Father Christmas has sent us all a special message from the North Pole.

With the help of Mrs Claus, he's taken to Facebook to wish us all well in these challenging times.

It's brilliant - share this with the kids:



New Great British Bake Off presenter Matt Lucas has this important message from baked potatoes.

It's silly but welcome in these serious times 😂:


Missing your newspaper?

If you're someone who loves to read the newspaper, you still can.


'Don't exceed the speed'

North Yorkshire Police are warning motorists to stick to the rules of the road and expect to see peed cameras still.

The Chief Constable, Lisa Winward, says they have seen examples of highly-excessive speeds and other driving offences on key routes across the county.


Stay healthy - inside and out

If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus, it's important to take care of your mind as well as your body.

You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.

It is OK to feel like this.

There are many places to seek help:


Nidderdale supports the community

A community hub in Nidderdale is urging people to get in touch if they're co-coordinating volunteers. 

Nidderdale Plus says it can offer advice, support and be an essential contact point. 

It's also offering a prescription delivery service  - and hopes to start running a mobile library this week. 

Their contact is:

    • 01423 714953

Hospital visiting suspended

All visiting at Airedale Hospital has now been suspended.

Hospital bosses have taken the measure to help protect patients and staff.

There are a few exceptions

Yesterday, visiting was also cancelled at Harrogate District Hospital.

Here's the statement from Airedale Hospital:

"Unfortunately we have now had to make the decision to suspend all visiting to the hospital.

This is so that we can help to protect everyone.

The only exceptions are:

  • For those receiving end of life care
  • A birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour
  • An adult accompanying their child in paediatrics or the neonatal unit

In these cases only one adult will be permitted – please contact the ward in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements."



Social distancing adhered by all

We're all being encouraged to stay two metres apart from each other to help stop the spread of the infection.

Most of us are adhering to that.........even the birds.


Ideas for home schooling

With mums, dads and carers having to become home educators, there are many resources flying around on social media to help with that.

Harrogate Festival is no different - it's shared its own ideas on how to keep children entertained.


Another rise across the Stray FM area

Official figures show that 15 more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in North Yorkshire.

It brings the number of cases recorded in the area up to 45.

There's been an increase in Leeds and Bradford too, with 53 and 16 cases respectively.