Covid-affected council closes recreation centers and museums for two more weeks

Stoke-on-Trent museums and recreation centers are to remain closed for an additional two weeks – so staff can be redeployed to essential services.

The Pottery Museum, the Gladstone Pottery Museum and a number of recreational facilities were originally scheduled to reopen to the public on Wednesday January 5, after being closed on Christmas Eve.

But Stoke-on-Trent City Council has now announced services will now remain closed until January 17.

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This will allow workers to volunteer to be redeployed to adult social care, contact tracing and vaccination centers, as Covid cases continue to rise in Stoke-on-Trent amid the Omicron wave In progress.

The following services will remain closed until January 17:

  • New Horizons;
  • Northwood Stadium;
  • Wallace Center;
  • Swimming lessons – schools and private lessons;
  • Swimming pools, including aquagym lessons and sensory swimming at Dimensions;
  • Burslem Gymnastics Club for Stoke Town Gymnastics Club – developmental, full team and recreational gymnastics classes;
  • The Gladstone Pottery Museum and Art Gallery and the Gladstone Pottery Museum.

The following leisure services will remain open:

  • Gym at Dimensions and Fenton Manor (including spa)
  • Limited class program
  • Access to licensed centers or existing rental contracts by clubs and organizations where no recreation staff is required
  • Wheelchair basketball event on the events on January 8 and 9
  • Dance party on January 16

The council also announced that local libraries and centers will not reopen on January 4 as originally planned.

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Heads of councils say they are keeping these services under review and reopening dates will be announced in the new year.

In the meantime, libraries will continue to offer a “click, call and collect” service, as was the case during previous closings.

City council chief Abi Brown said the authority had seen a “slight increase” in the number of workers self-isolating due to Covid-19, but all departments were doing well.

She said: “We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation on a daily basis and anticipate all eventualities wherever we can. Our top priority is to ensure the continuity of essential counseling services and to support the NHS for the people of Stoke-on-Trent, especially as January and the colder months of the year approach.

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“Since Christmas, we’ve seen a slight increase in staff needing to self-isolate, but all departments are doing well. The city’s homeless team continues to provide 24/7 service. The council contact center is operating as usual – and our website and social media channels are continually updated with the latest information for residents.

“I am very proud of all the staff on the board, they have been so supportive during the pandemic to ensure the efficient functioning of our essential and frontline services.”

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