COVID-19 rates decrease in Kirklees but the fight is not over
Our rates of COVID-19 infection have dropped in Kirklees over the last seven days – but our fight is not over yet.
The Government is now releasing new data every week which shows the rates of positive coronavirus tests for each area and over the last seven days our figures have decreased.
What does it mean for Kirklees?
During the pandemic, 490.5 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.
The data also tells us that 23.7 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This has dropped from 34.4 people per 100,000 residents the previous week.
The current national rate is 7.1. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 21.4.
Please be advised that these figures are provisional and could be subject to change. Figures will be updated regularly here.
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?
Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others but we have announced our wide-ranging action to tackle local spikes in COVID-19 infections.
Our rates have decreased over the last seven days but we still need to bring them down further.
Our actions to reduce rates, save lives and avoid a local lockdown
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which specific areas are being targeted for more support?
Initially, Ravensthorpe, Saville Town and Batley West, focussing 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.
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.
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.
What other areas will be targeted?
We also plan to implement similar support in Birkby and Fartown.
We are continuing to analyse the data to learn more about spikes or trends in areas or within specific social groups across Kirklees and we will take targeted action to bring rates back down and save lives.
Are we heading for a local lockdown?
No. However, 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.
Your role as a resident
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.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “The local data shows that our rates of COVID-19 infection have dropped in Kirklees over the last seven days. This is of course good news but not a reason to become complacent – our fight against COVID-19 is not over.
“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.
“We are still far from the levels of infection seen in Leicester, but we all have an equal role to play in continuing to lower our infection rates, save lives an prevent any local lockdown.
“Social distancing, hand washing and protecting the most vulnerable in our community are more important now than ever, particularly with the recent easing of lockdown measures.”