Libraries, day centres and the archive service are among the facilities Staffordshire County Council says will close as part of efforts to combat the coronavirus.

The authority said the move would help protect at-risk residents and allow staff to be redeployed in order to keep critical services running.

Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said it was “the most sensible way forward”.

“The challenge and the risks we face are significant and evolving quickly.

“Given the Government’s advice for the over-70s, the pregnant and those with underlying health conditions to minimise social contact our duty as a county council is to keep people safe and this is the most sensible way forward for the public, for staff and for the hundreds of people who volunteer.

“At the same time we will ask staff from those services, who are able to do so, to volunteer and help in other parts of the council maintaining essential services.”

Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council

All libraries and the Staffordshire Record Office and the Lichfield History Access Point will not reopen on 23rd March after their scheduled weekend opening hours.

All library loans will automatically be extended until centres reopen and no-one will face fines for late returns.

“These are difficult times for us all however if we pull together and support one another, particularly the over-70s, Staffordshire will pull through this together.”

Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council

The county council is also inviting people to register for its ebooks service.

New members can search ‘join library’ at www.staffordshire.gov.uk, while existing members can visit www.borrowbox.com and use their membership number and PIN to access what’s on offer.

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