Measures are in place for Walton Hall and Gardens to be the site of a temporary mortuary, as preparations for managing the effects of coronavirus continue.
Over the next few weeks, it is predicted that the number of deaths in the region will increase, although the number of deaths in Cheshire remain comparatively low. Given the significance of the national situation however, Warrington Borough Council, alongside Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils, is taking precautionary steps to prepare for a worst-case scenario by establishing a mortuary at Walton Hall.
Two temporary structures are being built in case existing funeral directors and bereavement services are unable to manage demand over the coming weeks.
This means that from this evening, Wednesday 15 April, Walton Hall and Gardens will no longer be open to the public. On-site security teams will patrol the structures – which are expected to be completed this week – 24 hours a day.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, explained: “Across the North West, we are making preparations for an increasing number of people being taken by coronavirus although, thankfully, the number of deaths in Cheshire at this point is low in comparison to other regions. Establishing this temporary mortuary is a precaution that is in line with our preparations for a worst-case scenario.
“Our priority is to ensure that we have appropriate facilities that guarantee people taken by coronavirus are treated with dignity and respect. Using Walton Hall is not inevitable, but we need to make sure we have measures in place for every possible outcome.
“The reality of how indiscriminate coronavirus is could not be more clear, but we can all do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus. Please, continue to follow the national guidance and stay at home wherever possible. It really will save lives.”
For the latest on Warrington’s response to coronavirus, please visit warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus