Firefighters cancel South Shields event over coronavirus after more cases confirmed in North East

An open day for South Shields Community Fire Station has been postponed to ‘protect’ employees and the wider community from the spread of coronavirus.

The open day at South Shields Community Fire Station has been postponed. Picture by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
The open day at South Shields Community Fire Station has been postponed. Picture by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

The announcement came hours before it was revealed an adult from Sunderland is being treated at South Tyneside District Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service say the postponement is a ‘precautionary measure’ and is to protect both employees, first responders and the wider community.

The event, which sees hundreds of attendees interact with the fire crews, was originally planned for Saturday, March 21.

However the event will now be rearranged for later in the year.

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A spokesman for the brigade said: “As a precaution, we have decided to postpone our community open day originally planned for Saturday 21 March at South Shields Community Fire Station.

“Like other emergency services, we're working to protect our employees and the wider community from the spread of COVID-19. Our open days are usually very well attended and involve hundreds of attendees interacting not only with fire crews, but with other first responders too. We’d like to reiterate that this is a precautionary measure.

“We appreciate that this is disappointing news for anyone who had planned to attend. We’re looking forward to rearranging the event later in the year and thank you for your understanding.”

As of 9am on Monday, March 9, there are 319 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and so far five deaths have been linked to the disease.