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Coronavirus

Crawley becomes a ghost town as residents follow advice to stay at home

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It was an eerie picture walking around Crawley town centre this morning as the reality of something no-one has had to experience before began.

Photos taken at 10:40am this morning show a very quiet scene and it is hoped that footfall will increase as the day continues BUT with advice to avoid public areas the question will be who is to come into the town.

A typical Tuesday morning can be quiet in the town centre but even this level of footfall was much lower than usual.

Some cafes and coffee shops were still operating with half a dozen customers sat at tables outside whilst most of the other stores were trying to cope with the odd person who came in.

Shop staff were wandering around their empty premises looking like they had no idea what to do as the process of self-isolating at home began.

Shared office spaces reported that only 10% of businesses had come to in today and Manor Royal, known for having a huge lack of parking during normal working conditions, had huge car parks almost empty.

Shoppers reported that the town began to pick up as lunchtime approached which will be welcome news to the retailers.

Tilgate Park announced this morning that the Nature Centre would be closed for the foreseeable furture. In a statement posted online they said:

“Following government advice, the Nature Centre will be shut from today for the foreseeable future.
We will keep you updated as and when new information and guidance is released. We will contact all those with bookings in due course.”

As more places closed their door ’till further notice’ including the libraries and with events either being cancelled or postponed including Run Gatwick all eyes and ears are now on what todays big announcement will bring from the government.

The latest advice from the NHS says:

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Read the NHS advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Coronavirus

Powerful viruscide used across Southern Rails stations and trains to kill Coronavirus

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, plus stations and staff areas have been treated with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.

The product further improves GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term viruscides, and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.

While the current advice remains to only use public transport if you absolutely have to, the product provides another layer of protection for passengers who do need to travel such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort on the front line.

To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers which are being distributed to stations. 

A specially-developed app also tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.

Engineering Director Steve Lammin said:

“Since the outbreak of this pandemic we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains, and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, and a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents.

“We are now using a product that will kill Coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”

Electrostatic ‘wands’ (pictured and on video) have been used around stations and staff areas and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through additional extra staff, new 24-hour viruscide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.

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