Coronavirus: Fareham Borough Council partly suspends meetings until June

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MEETINGS of key committees within Fareham Borough Council have been suspended as the authority looks to protect councillors from the coronavirus outbreak.

The council’s executive and all six scrutiny panels will no longer meet, with councillors holding portfollio positions making decisions after seeking the views of opposition group leaders.

Full council meetings will continue with a reduced number of councillors attending.

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Licensing committees and planning committees are being reviewed, and where possible meetings will be conducted over the telephone.

Fareham Borough Council officesFareham Borough Council offices
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The next few months would be ‘challenging, according to council leader Sean Woodward.

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Cllr Woodward said: ‘These are unprecedented times and so we have taken steps to protect the health of our councillors and employees. These measures will also enable us to be better prepared to keep delivering services to resident in the next few months.

‘The next few months will be challenging, but by adapting how we work together we can help to reduce the spread of the virus.’

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When the council chamber is used, chairs will be spaced out to enact social distancing and members of the public in attendance will sit in public gallery in a separate room. where tables, chairs and microphones will be cleaned before and after each meeting.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

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The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to 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 try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS

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