• A FURTHER five people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the North-East and North Yorkshire, latest figures reveal.
  • Figures published on Thursday revealed a total of 1,540 coronavirus patients have died in hospitals in our region.
  • NHS England said a further 187 people had died in hospitals across England over the same reporting period.
  • One of Teesside’s biggest academy chains has announced its schools will welcome back a limited number of pupils from June 8 amid safety concerns from parents. Rob Tarn, chief executive at The Northern Education Trust has written to hundreds of parents to tell them the plan for its schools across the region. Mr Tarn has told parents of pupils at the trust’s schools how it will take a “cautious and phased” approach to reopening – with the aim of bringing back Year 6 pupils only on June 8.
  • Car parks and public toilets are set to reopen in Richmondshire this weekend.
  • A library has teamed up with a virtual school organisation to supply learning packs to children in care. With schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many children are distance learning – something that can be challenging for looked after children. Darlington Libraries has teamed up with Darlington Virtual School to donate free educational packs to 120 looked after children across the borough. The BookTrust Letterbox pack contains age-appropriate books, learning resources and games designed to spark imagination and ensure home learning is fun and interactive.
  • EasyJet have confirmed when they are to resume flying from Newcastle International Airport - but passengers will face a string of new safety measures. The low-cost airline announced a select number of flights would resume from the North-East on June 15. It said it would be reopening its domestic routes from this date, but hinted that further routes would be "confirmed" in coming weeks. The only international route set to fly from the UK is EasyJet's service between Gatwick and Nice in France.
  • A hospital trust is thanking fellow frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic by putting together video. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has joined in with National Thank A Teacher Day, which was yesterday, May 20 While the event may normally be reserved for past and present students alike, teachers have received thanks from others for their work during Covid-19. Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool Trust recorded a video message to thank teachers for keeping the school doors open or providing home lessons for students.
  • Rusty drivers emerging out of lockdown and key workers used to emptier roads are all being urged to 'slow down and save lives'. North Yorkshire Police are keen to get that message out as the amount of traffic on the county’s roads has been increasing since the relaxation of lockdown travel and work restrictions. And police have noticed that many motorists are “rusty” after not using their vehicles for weeks. It has prompted North Yorkshire emergency services and local authorities to share a joint message to motorists as part of a national campaign.
  • More than 3,000 Gateshead residents have received help and support during the coronavirus lockdown. In the last two months council staff, together with a number of voluntary sector partners including Age UK Gateshead and Citizens Advice Gateshead, as well as faith groups and local volunteers, have come together to create mutual aid groups to support our communities. Councillor Catherine Donovan, Deputy Leader of Gateshead Council, said: “Volunteers are working together across Gateshead to protect and support those residents who need extra help during the coronavirus lockdown. “Stories of people going the extra mile to help others are becoming more common as the pandemic continues and I want to pay tribute our staff and to those groups and volunteers that are coming forward and making every effort to help their neighbours.” Gateshead Council has set up special coronavirus web pages where residents and businesses can access a range of advice.
  • Police have issued a warning over fraudulent calls and emails claiming to be from Cleveland Police. On behalf of the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU), officers are warning people to be vigilant after reports were received of someone fraudulently claiming to be from Cleveland Police. Phishing emails or phone calls have been targeting businesses in the North East area claiming to be from an officer from Cleveland Police, in an attempt to fraudulently obtain services. The Force has been made aware of three incidents of this nature over the last month and are warning members of the public to be vigilant to prevent people from being scammed.
  • British Steel has announced that it is to create a host of new jobs on Teesside. The recruitment process has now opened for a number of new manufacturing jobs at British Steel’s Lackenby site and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is urging people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to apply. The new Teesside jobs is the latest step in British Steel’s efforts to play an important role in supporting the UK economic recovery following the coronavirus impact by protecting thousands of jobs and supplying products and services to its customers. Production at British Steel’s Skinningrove site resumed last month, with around 300 furloughed staff returning to work, following a temporary pause due to the impact of the coronavirus. Following the return to production, bosses at British Steel said they had increased confidence in the firm’s ability to navigate its way through this situation and produce the requisite volumes of Special Profiles at Skinningrove. The site at Lackenby was not affected by this and the company’s facility in Darlington also remained open.
  • Attacks on Cleveland Police's officers has doubled during the Covid pandemic, the force has confirmed. Between March 30 and May 13, there have been 81 assaults on police workers, compared to 41 in the same period last year. The figures come as a woman who bit, kicked, scratched, and coughed at police was jailed for 12 months. Victoria Geldard, 22, of Poplar Mount, Bramley, Leeds pleaded guilty to nine assault charges related to offences committed after she was arrested in Stockton in the early hours of April 13 after it was reported that she caused a nuisance in the street.
  • An NHS trust has saved £2.4m from its medicine budget – enough to replace two scanners. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool, saved more than double the £1m of efficiency savings it set out to make. The savings were achieved by switching medicines, ensuring compliance with best value regional contracts, a clinical audit of outpatient prescribing, liaising with homecare companies and ensuring processes are in place for minimising waste.
  • Numerous primary schools have announced plans to hold a teacher training day on the first day the government has said they could reopen following lockdown. While North Yorkshire County Council has backed plans to reopen primary schools for reception, year one and year six pupils from June 1, a number of neighbouring local education authorities, including Leeds, Bradford and Hartlepool, have stated they do not intend to follow suit due to safety fears. However, it has emerged scores of schools across North Yorkshire intend to remain closed on the first day back in more than two months – a decision that has attracted criticism, with people questioning why teachers had been unable to complete one training day during lockdown.
  • Costa Coffee have revealed when all their drive-thru branches will reopen. Like other food chains, Costa closed many of their shops following the UK Lockdown on March 23. In recent weeks, a small number of drive-thru stores have reopened to coffee fans, as part of a phased strategy to ensure the safety and staff and customers. A total of 75 drive-thru cafes re-opened on Thursday, May 21, while the remaining 58 will return on Thursday, May 28.