Since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Wakefield on March 11, 2020, life in the district has changed in many ways. More than 23,700 people have since tested positive for the virus. While phrases such as "social distancing" and "self-isolation" might roll naturally of the tongue today, it can be easy to forget how much life has changed in the last 12 months. These are a few of the defining moments of the first few weeks of Covid-19 in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford.
5. Pubs and bars closed
At the same time, the government formally ordered all entertainment and hospitality premises, including pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants, to close, as part of a national effort to slow the spread of infection. Many of these venues have been unable to open since.
Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
The first deaths from Covid-19 were confirmed by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust on March 18, 2020. The following week, the Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals, suspended visiting to all sites. The Trust said they had taken the decision “in order to protect everyone, as much as we can, from the spread of coronavirus.”
The following week, as lockdown began, supermarkets announced new opening hours in a bid to protect shoppers and staff. A story detailing each brand’s restrictions and opening hours became one of the Express’ most read pieces of the year.
Amid the uncertainty, millions of people began taking extra time to show their appreciation to NHS staff across the country. Homes across Wakefield and the Five Towns began displaying rainbow artwork to honour frontline NHS staff, the national Clap for Carers was carried out each Tuesday evening.