April 1, 2020 5.37 pm This story is over 20 months old

“The strength of Lincolnshire’s communities will pull us through”

The situation “will get worse” but the county has “reacted extremely well”

Emergency response bosses have warned the coronavirus situation in Lincolnshire will get worse. However, they said the impact will depend on the actions of residents and communities.

The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) is a partnership of council, health and emergency services among others who plan how to react to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy chair of strategic co-ordination Mark Baxter, who is also deputy chief officer for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We recognise that the situation is most likely to get worse in the coming weeks, so it’s really again how we can keep reinforcing the messages to our communities about hand washing, staying at home and only travelling if you absolutely need to, in-line with government advice.”

He told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines that the county’s communities had “reacted extremely well in light of the emerging crisis” but that the forum was acutely aware of the long-lasting impacts.

“The strength of Lincolnshire is within the communities. It’s in the way people have rallied around and how people are, in general, listening to the advice,” he said.

Deputy chair of strategic co-ordination at the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum Mark Baxter. Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

The LRF recently confirmed plans to build a temporary mortuary at RAF Woodhall Spa, and Mr Baxter confirmed “conceptual” plans were also in place for other critical services such as health and education – though he would not be drawn on details.

“Hospitals and schools are continually feeding in to give us a daily update in regards to where they are at capacity, and, if at any point it’s looking likely that we’re going to have to increase capacity in certain critical service areas, then absolutely, we’ve got plans in place.

“We have concepts that we can put in to ensure that we can release some of that pressure across all of the critical services for Lincolnshire.”

Mr Baxter was also keen to promote several guidance contacts within the LRF, including:

  • Help and support for vulnerable people, including those on the government’s list, by calling 08000 288327
  • Guidance and advice for local businesses by calling 01522 782189 or emailing [email protected]
  • Mental health support for those feeling vulnerable, upset or unsure about their health on 0800 001 4331.

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.