Council urges residents to work together as high Covid-19 rates put services under pressure

Services are having to be rolled back as pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:48 pm

Wigan Council is urging people to work together to keep each other safe, saying Covid-19 figures for the borough are currently higher than they were at the second peak.

That means some non-essential services are being scaled back to prioritise front-line operations, the local authority said.

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Wiganers are being urged to work together to stay safe due to high Covid-19 rates

Council bosses will continue to encourage everyone to keep doing the simple things to help stop the spread of the virus and have again praised the borough’s sense of community spirit.

Visitors to local authority venues will be asked to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing as case rates across the borough are continuing to rise.

The Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux, said: “Although many restrictions have been eased this week it’s crucial we don’t act as if Covid-19 has gone away.

“Our rates remain at a high-level and this is having an impact on our services, as it is across our partner health organisations.

“We are constantly reviewing our service delivery and events schedule with the health of our residents our top priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic.”

Like the majority of local authorities, Wigan Council’s workforce continues to feel the impact of recent high case rates with employees required to self-isolate.

More than 60 environmental services staff were either self-isolating or unable to work last week.

In June, more than 150 staff across the council's workforce were required to self-isolate.

Essential services, such as waste collections, emergency repairs and adult and children’s social care provision have been prioritised throughout the pandemic and the council says this will continue.

However, that means some services, such as street cleaning and non-urgent housing repairs, will be operating in a reduced form.

Public health measures, such as the wearing of facemasks, capacity limits and social distancing, will remain in place at libraries, Life Centres and similar council buildings for the safety of residents and staff.

Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health for Wigan Council, said: “We have had a 45 per cent increase in the number of positive cases since this time last week and there are rising infection rates across the country.

“From our local perspective we are now at another crucial stage of our pandemic response and now is certainly not the time for us to scale back on our public health guidance and we will continue to encourage residents to practice the 3Ws and remain cautious.”

Coun Molyneux added: “I’m sure that everyone will understand why these steps are being maintained given our current circumstances.

“Ensuring our residents stay safe is our priority and we very much appreciate everyone’s patience and support.

“We therefore urge everyone to keep doing their bit to ‘Keep Wigan Borough Safe’ and continue to be kind and considerate to one another.

“Throughout the past 18 months we have highlighted the wonderful sense of community spirit we have in our borough and recognised the contributions of staff to help keep our services running.”

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