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Coronavirus update Friday 3rd April

In Leeds, there are 192 confirmed cases and 26 deaths to 31st March, with a further update expected shortly. Whilst it is very difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy, the best information we have is that we anticipate that the peak will be in mid to late April (with differences by region) and could last for around a month, although this clearly depends on how compliant the public are with social distancing and a range of other factors.

Harrogate Nightingale Hospital announced

Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust will be the lead trust for the Nightingale Hospital, with the Chief Executive of Harrogate as the Chief Executive of the new temporary hospital. This is now being built with support from the military and is due for completion soon.  It will have capacity for up to 500 critical care beds, with the first phase creating 250 beds. This will be step down care to help remove pressure from other hospitals across Yorkshire and Humber.

‘Rogue’ businesses still operating in Yorkshire

Following yesterday’s update my colleague Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, is quoted in the Yorkshire Post this morning outlining the same trend that we are seeing here in Leeds. Rachel Maskell MP is reporting the same in York. There are far too many businesses dancing around the Government’s ‘key worker’ and ‘essential business’ guidance. We will not stand for companies who are putting their staff at risk unnecessarily and will not give up on bringing them to book. To be clear, if a job can be done from home, work from home. If it cannot, only go into work if it is absolutely essential to tackling the current crisis. If you do not fall into this category and your employer is still asking you to come into work contact me on alex@alexsobel.co.uk

Charities

Leeds City Council have received an update today that confirms charities will not be eligible for the Government’s small business grant of up to £10k. Only business that receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief will be able to apply. Unfortunately, charities receive 80% mandatory business rate relief rather than either of the two eligible schemes. LCC are now looking at how best to influence government to ask them to rethink the eligibility of the scheme which could provide a lifeline for small charities. I have been in contact with charities locally and will do what I can to urge the Government to provide the help that they need to survive the crisis.

Office of Alex Sobel MP

We have had a huge increase of cases in March. Individual cases have risen by 178%. The

Majority of these are coronavirus related Employment, access to  general support, repatriation and benefits. Enquiry emails have also risen by 59%

To help us manage this caseload and to ensure everyone who needs help gets help can you please observe the following advice and help us to streamline the work:

  1. Can you please only use the email alex@alexsobel.co.uk, please refrain from sending to other email addresses you have for me as this causes a duplication of administration time

  2. If you and your family are having issues could one person from the family email in, we sometimes have whole families emailing with the same problem which slows us down.

  3. It is absolutely essential to us that you include your address in the email. We are taking up too much time emailing back to ask for this.

Twitter and Facebook accounts to follow

See this tweet thread on changes to council bin collection. It is also available on Facebook here

Local NHS accounts have been verified to help public spot fake accounts and help prevent spread of misinformation. Please share this post on Twitter to spread the word.

And finally….

A teacher at the Grammar School in Leeds (GSAL) has been busy making protective equipment in his school lab for the NHS. Thank you to Mr Bagshaw who has delivered over 130 masks. He’s running low on materials, can you help? A4 PET sheet or acetate sheet or any CEL/Robox 3d printing filament are desperately needed. Call 0113 229 1552 or email enquiries@gsal.org.uk if you can help.

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