Councils across Derbyshire are to get a share of £4.3 million of funding designed to get East Midlands high streets back into business in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The £50 million national Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is aimed at helping councils to introduce a range of safety measures to help get people back to work and customers back into the shops.
The measures will include things like signs, street markings and temporary barriers in a bid to ensure social distancing.
The cash is intended to support the reopening of non-essential retail in a phased way from June 1, subject to scientific advice. The amount each council will receive will be revealed in due course.
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Today’s announcement comes as 20 more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Derbyshire on Saturday, bringing the total to 1,643 cases in the county since the start of the pandemic. Of those, four were in Derby, bringing the overall total to 574 cases.
In Staffordshire, there were 17 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total up to 2,172.
There have been 464 recorded deaths from Covid-19 at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. This is an increase of one from Friday.
At Chesterfield Royal Hospital, no new deaths have been recorded, meaning the total stands at 115.
You can follow our live coronavirus updates below:
Sikh Community raises money for thousands of scrubs – made in Derby
More than 11,000 sets of PPE scrubs for hospitals across the country are being made in Derby.
The 11,111 sets are being paid for by more than £100,000 in donations made by the Sikh community in 24 hours during a national appeal on the Sikh channel Khalsa TV.
They are being manufactured at KDJ Clothing based in Normanton, owned by Councillor Balbir Sandhu, and all the money is being used for materials required to manufacture the scrubs with no profit or wages being taken.
Hospitals which will be receiving scrubs are: Birmingham Hospital, Sandwell Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Royal London Hospital, Royal Derby Hospital, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Walsall Manor Hospital and the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital.
Derby City Council puts out reminder about PPE
The council has put out a tweet reminding people to dispose of PPE carefully because of the dangers to others:
Coronavirus around the world and Russia
Coronavirus has infected more than 5.3 million people across the world and killed over 342,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
But while the pandemic seems to be receding in some countries, Russia has reported its highest one-day death toll of 153 bringing the total of deaths in the country to 3,541.
At the same time, it reported its lowest number of new infections in three weeks of 8,599 – daily infection rates of 11,000 were reported for several days in May.
People in public spaces ‘should wear’ masks, according to scientist
Anyone in public spaces “should wear a mask” according to the president of the Royal Society.
Dr Venki Ramakrishnan, who also sits on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to discuss coronavirus, told Andrew Marr on BBC One that face coverings help to reduce transmission.
He said: “I think anyone in public spaces should wear a mask because it’s simply another tool to reduce the possibility of infections.
“I don’t think masks are be all end all, you have to think of it as one leg in a multi-legged stool that holds up prevention of transmission.”
Asked if teachers should wear masks, Dr Ramakrishnan said: “If they are socially distanced and there are all these other measures in place, where their use is not necessary, that is a policy decision, that’s not for a scientist like me to say.
“My view is that wherever social distancing is not possible, we must regularly wash our hands and I think it would be a good idea to wear masks.”
Derbyshire parents would sooner see their children return to school in September
More two thirds of parents who took part in a Derbyshire Live survey are not happy about the prospect of their children returning to school on June 1.
And many of them feel it would be better if they went back in September.
The far-reaching Great Big Parenting Lockdown survey revealed some predictable responses but also some surprises.
Read the full story here
Strong warning to stay away from Buxton’s ‘Blue Lagoon’
A fresh warning to avoid Buxton’s ‘Blue Lagoon’ has been issued ahead of expected fine and warm weather on Bank Holiday Monday.
The dangerous waters have a PH level close to bleach, which can give people severe skin irritation. Not only can it be harmful to the skin, there are hidden dangers in the water, with cars and animal carcasses at the bottom of the Harpur Hill lagoon.
People have been reported to be putting their lives at risk on a daily basis at the flooded quarry. l
Paul Hawker, group manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said: “In an effort to deter people from entering the water local agencies work together to dye the usual blue waters black, but due to the deposits that seep from the stone, the water soon returns to its blue colour.
“In addition to the hazards, no matter how hot the weather is, the quarry water will remain cold, meaning if you enter the water, your body can quickly go into shock causing your heart rate to quicken, you start to gasp for breath and you can quickly become confused and disorientated.
“By swimming, or even playing in, or close to the water, you are putting your own life, and that of the emergency services that would be called to help you, into danger too. Please act responsibly, stay away from the area – keep out of the water”
Is this the end of separate public toilets for men and women?
As lockdown restrictions are eased, the British Toilet Association’s managing director Raymond Martin has been advising councils and companies on how to keep washrooms clean and safe amid a global pandemic.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Martin said potential solutions range from foot-operated flushes and self-closing seats to sensor-activated taps and soap dispensers.
However one of the most substantial proposed changes is the elimination of separate toilets for men and women.
Instead, one-way gender neutral facilities could see men and women queuing at one door and exiting on the other side with individual cubicles in between.
Mr Martin told the paper he is calling on the Government to invest in revolutionising the nation’s washrooms as a matter of “public health”.
“Toilets have a massive commercial effect on an area, which is why they are one of the first things you plan in any new shopping centre,” he said.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money, but if we want to get back outdoors, to socialise, to go to parks and beaches, then the Government has to step in.”
Mr Martin’s remarks come as the closure of public toilets across Derbyshire has seen alarm increase over the number of cases of people reported as urinating and defecating openly at tourist spots instead.
Read more here.
Army of contact tracers set to go into action next week?
Up to 25,000 contact tracers have been recruited ahead of the launch of a new test-and-trace system aiming to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Government has said.
The system, which involves tracing and advising people who may have come into close contact with someone testing positive for the virus, is set to launch at the end of this coming week.
The Government has been aiming for human contact tracers to be in place for June 1 – the earliest date for opening schools and non-essential shops in England.
Widespread contact tracing was abandoned in mid-March as the number of Covid-19 cases soared in the UK, but a test, track and trace (TTT) strategy is now seen as playing a crucial role in efforts to ease lockdown while avoiding a second wave of infections.
The Government is also currently trialling a contact-tracing app designed by the NHS’ digital arm, NHSX, on the Isle of Wight that has been hit by delays.
The public will be asked to work closely with the newly-recruited contact tracers, who will run a national virtual call centre operation.
More details of how the system will work is expected to be announced in the near future.
High streets’ money will be available from June 1 to boost non-essential retail
Derbyshire’s share of the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers. This will help businesses get ready for when they can begin trading safely, not only in high streets and town and city centres, but also in other public spaces like beachfronts and promenades.
Councils will also be able to use this money to develop local marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe.
It is the Government’s ambition to reopen non-essential retail in a phased way from 1 June, subject to the scientific advice. The Government will set out further details on how and when these can reopen safely shortly and the councils in Derbyshire will be given their funding amount in due course.