Taking action on local COVID-19 spikes
We have announced our wide-ranging action to tackle local spikes in COVID-19 infections.
New data released last week by the government showed a small increase in cases in Kirklees. We’re now taking immediate action to reduce rates to save lives and avoid a local lockdown.
Our action includes sending staff to work with people, families and business owners in areas with the highest rates, supporting them with how they can stay safe as lockdown eases.
A major public information campaign will also give all residents in Kirklees the latest information on how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Increased testing in affected areas will give local people and public health officials a better understanding of how the virus is affecting communities in North Kirklees.
Whilst infection rates in Kirklees remain well below those seen in Leicester, councillors and officials are determined to keep numbers low and protect lives and vital health and care services.
An outreach operation in communities most affected by COVID-19 is already underway with local councillors leading hundreds of council staff in dispensing public health advice to residents and working with families and communities on how they can stay safe.
Initially operating in Ravensthorpe, Saville Town and Batley West, and focused on people in the 20-40 years old age group, council staff will talk to voluntary and community organisations about how they can work together to stay safe. They will also engage with people and families who might be at particular risk or who need support to isolate.
Our public health campaign will also see all residents receive the latest information and advice on stopping the spread of the virus in a letter that will start to drop through letterboxes later this week. Last week, organisations across the public, private and voluntary sector also pledged to work together to share advice and guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 especially as rules around lockdown begin to ease.
An additional mobile testing unit (MTU) is available in Batley at Wards Hill car park. The existing MTU in Dewsbury has moved to Cliffe Street car park. The units will be available for anyone who thinks they have symptoms to get a test.
Director of Public Health for Kirklees, Rachel Spencer-Henshall said: “We’ve been waiting for data that can help us target action for months. Now that we know more, we have acted quickly to get support into communities where we can have the biggest impact and bring infection rates down.
“We are talking about relatively small numbers of positive cases but there is no room for complacency. The council and its partners have thousands of interactions with people and communities every day. We will make the most of those conversations, and create more, so that everyone understands their role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“Data is hugely helpful but it never gives a complete picture. We are very likely to see infection rates go up and down in communities and pockets in different parts of Kirklees in the coming weeks and months. We’re ready to deploy staff and testing units anywhere in Kirklees if we think it will help bring rates down. And we will be coming up with new ways of supporting people to bring rates down all the time.
“We are focusing our efforts in parts of North Kirklees for now but the advice is the same for everyone, whatever age you are and wherever you live. Keep social distancing, wash your hands regularly and isolate if you have symptoms or are contacted by the NHS test and trace service.”