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COVID-19 venues news: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, United Center and more

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has opened its doors to patients of North Middlesex Hospital’s Women’s Outpatient Services to free up capacity at the hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

Tottenham announced earlier in the week that the stadium would be repurposed and fitted to cater for the hospital and the facility has now officially opened.

The repurposing of the stadium is also designed to support the redirection of pregnant women away from the hospital during the pandemic.

As part of the repurposing, the stadium’s media entrance and café will now serve as a main reception and welfare area for visitors and NHS staff, while the NFL away changing room areas will serve as a maternal day unit. The club’s flash interview rooms near the players’ tunnel and the referees’ area will be used as consultation and scanning rooms, with the auditorium to be utilised as an NHS staff briefing space. The football away dressing room is being used as a midwives clinical room and staff admin office.

The Women’s Outpatient Clinic will operate Monday-Saturday and Tottenham is anticipating up to 70 patient visits every day with up to 30 staff on site at any one time.

United Center

A personal protective equipment (PPE) donation drop-off has been set up at United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team and the Chicago Blackhawks NHL ice hockey franchise.

The drop-off was set up earlier in the week after the City of Chicago and global disaster response organisation Team Rubicon partnered with the arena. Team Rubicon volunteers will collect PPE items that are in critical shortage, then sort the equipment based on priority and coordinate the distribution to vulnerable people and essential work staff.

The donation drop-off will be open Monday-Friday from 9am to 3pm and will be located in the United Center’s East Atrium. United Center had already been supporting Chicago’s relief efforts by operating as a logistics hub.

The City of Chicago is requesting sterile and non-sterile gloves, hand sanitiser, disinfectant bottles or sprays, disinfectant wipes, isopropyl alcohol, eye protection and goggles, clear face shields, masks with tie/ear loops, three-ply surgical masks, respirator masks, PAPR respirators, disposable isolation and examination gowns, booties, medical ventilators, coveralls, hair nets and touchless thermometers.

Terry Savarise, executive vice-president and chief operating officer at United Center, said: “Team Rubicon is a powerful group of veterans with a meaningful mission. We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with them as we continue the fight against coronavirus in our community.”

AJ Bell Stadium

AJ Bell Stadium, home of the Sale Sharks rugby union team and Salford Red Devils rugby league club, has launched a drive-through COVID-19 testing centre.

The centre was set up in 24 hours, with Salford Council describing the process as a “marathon effort”. The centre will be able to run 120 tests a day, with people required to book an appointment to get tested.

Priority will initially be given to Salford Royal Foundation Trust staff and health and social care workers who are either showing COVID-19 symptoms or who are self-isolating. Family members who also show symptoms will be tested. Taxi Transfers will transport people who are being tested and provide closed passenger cabins.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I am really proud of the efforts made by a team of NHS and council employees. They gave up their Easter break to set the testing centre up and support the NHS and our care sector and are now managing traffic flow. The testing site at the AJ Bell was developed following the success of the Salford Royal Foundation Trust testing site the week before.

“This is truly a team effort. Staff from Salford Primary Care Together are providing the swabbing, while teams from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust do the testing. Results are provided by Salford City Council’s public health protection team and Corporate Nursing colleagues at Salford Royal Foundation Trust who advise those tested what their results mean for them.”

The Salford centre will complement an existing testing centre at Manchester Airport.

Pride Park

Pride Park, home of Championship football club Derby County, will today (Thursday) open up a food drop-off point for fans to donate items for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative forms part of Derby’s ‘Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Connected’ programme, which provides help, advice and measures to support local communities during the crisis.

Derby, in partnership with the Derby Food Forum network and Derby County Community Trust, has provided space to set up the food drop-off point at Pride Park, which will be located in the West Stand Car Park.

Donations will be accepted from 10am-2pm on every Monday and Thursday for the foreseeable future and the space will be staffed by club and Community Trust volunteers, who will then begin delivering food parcels to those in need. Food from the drop-off point will be provided to Food Hubs opening across the city, which are run by the Derby Food Forum network.

Additionally, the Community Trust’s offices at Pride Park have been offered to the University Hospitals Of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust’s midwifery team.

Image: United Center