New COVID-19 test results data – useful information
New data has been released by Government which gives us more information on the number of COVID-19 cases in Kirklees.
What does it mean for Kirklees?
During the pandemic, 431 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.
The data also tells us that 26.2 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This has reduced from 30.3 people per 100,000 residents the previous week.
A relatively small number of cases can make a large difference to rates and this needs to be considered when looking at weekly changes and comparisons with other areas.
Why are the numbers higher in Kirklees than elsewhere?
The numbers for Kirklees are broadly similar to neighbouring authority areas. We have the second lowest overall number of infections out of the five West Yorkshire councils.
Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others. In Kirklees, we have recently acted to contain outbreaks in workplaces which always leads to more tests and a high chance of more positive tests. This could affect the weekly figures.
What we do know for sure us that if we all follow the guidance on social distancing hand washing and staying safe, numbers will come down.
Does this mean there’s going to be a local lockdown?
No. If you take Leicester as an example, there were 141.3 positive cases per 100,000 residents in the latest week. During the same period there were 26.2 positive cases per 100,000 residents in Kirklees.
There is no room for complacency. Everyone needs to keep following the guidance on staying safe to keep numbers as low as possible.
Does it tell us exactly how many people have had COVID-19 in Kirklees?
No. Some people who get the virus don’t have any symptoms so we wouldn’t know about them. Others won’t have taken a test for other reasons and wouldn’t be counted here. The figures published today can give us a rough, but useful, idea of the number of cases locally.
Why are infections higher than previous numbers we’ve seen?
Testing for COVID-19 is done in different ways. Until now, government figures for all local authorities have only included tests carried out in hospitals and of health and care workers (this is known as ‘pillar 1’ data). The new data includes tests done at home, in the community and at drive-through centres. These are know as pillar 2 tests and account for many more tests and positive cases.
Every local authority will see a big difference in the numbers now that this extra information has been added. It doesn’t mean we have seen an unexpected increase in cases locally.
Why can’t I see where every case is in Kirklees?
We don’t yet have reliable data to break down the numbers any further.
Why haven’t you published this before?
The data has been collected by central government. We have not had access to it until recently and we have not had permission to share it.
What should I do?
Keep following the advice on hand washing, social distancing and all the other ways you can keep safe. Find out more here.