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Attendance at Altrincham Crematorium services restricted to just 10 people as another five test positive for coronavirus

A total of 28 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Trafford, Public Health England has revealed.

A total of 28 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Trafford, Public Health England has revealed.

As of 9am this morning, the latest statistics show that 90,436 have been tested in the UK, with 82,359 negative and 8,077 positive. As of 1pm, 422 of those have died.

In Trafford, there has been a rise of five cases in the last 24 hours, although as testing is restricted to those patients who have been admitted to hospital, the real number is thought to be considerably higher.

The news comes as Trafford Council said it had taken the decision “with deep regret” to restrict attendance at chapel services at Altrincham Crematorium Chapel to immediate family, up to a maximum of 10 mourners.

The move follows the government’s advice to close social venues and limit all but essential travel in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The council said the new measures will “protect the health and wellbeing of bereaved families as well as staff”.

Families will be encouraged to wait in their cars or outside the Chapel ahead of services, as the waiting room in the Chapel is closed to reduce the risk of infection. Extra cleaning processes are in place at the Chapel and Crematorium.

Service books have also been removed from Chapels as a precaution and hand shaking is also being discouraged with ministers, celebrants and funeral directors until further notice.

Cllr Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Leader for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change, said: “This is a difficult but necessary decision in order to protect our residents and staff.

“We are of course sympathetic to the fact that this affects people at what is already an emotional and difficult time and we are doing everything we can to support bereaved families.

“We have a strong working relationship with our Funeral Directors, ministers and clergy and we will ensure that these changes are dealt with in the most respectful way.

“Like with many other services we are having to look at different ways to support delivery and so our bereavement team are offering recordings of the service so those unable to attend can still witness the service and pay their respect. And of course, we will be open to arranging memorial services at a later date when health guidelines allow.”