COVID-19 rates have stabilised in Kirklees but we need to bring them down further
Our rates of COVID-19 infection have remained at a similar level in Kirklees over the last seven days after dropping significantly last week.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Thanks to the efforts of everyone locally, our infection rates have remained at the lower level they reduced to last week. However, we’re still above the national average and we need to see our rates come down further. We have not beaten this virus yet.
“Thankfully, we are still far from the levels of infection that resulted in a local lockdown in Leicester, but we still need to bring them down. It is everyone’s responsibility to do this so we can save lives and prevent a local lockdown.
“Through the local data we now have access to, we are very likely to see infection rates go up and down in communities in Kirklees in the coming weeks and months. If this does happen, we will deploy staff and testing units to target specific areas.
“The very best way of bringing our infection rates down and keeping them down is still by social distancing, hand washing, getting tested if you have symptoms and wearing a face covering if you are out shopping or on public transport. This is more important now than ever, particularly with the recent easing of lockdown measures.”
Useful information on local rates of COVID-19 infection
The Government releases new data every week which tells us what the rates of positive coronavirus tests are for each area, including Kirklees.
What does it tell us about Kirklees?
During the pandemic, 522.9 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.
The data also tells us that 28.0 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This is similar to the rate of 27.8 we had last week, which was a significant drop from 34.4 the previous week.
The current national rate is 7.4. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 22.4.
In summary, our infection rates have remained at the lower level they reduced to last week but we’re still above the national average and we need to see our rates come down further.
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 in other areas?
Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others but we have begun an action plan to tackle any local spikes of infections.
Are we heading for a local lockdown?
No. However, whilst infection rates in Kirklees remain well below those that resulted in a local lockdown in Leicester, councillors and officials are determined to keep numbers low, so we can prevent a local lockdown and protect lives and vital health and care services.
How can I help bring rates down further?
We all have a role to play in doing this. The advice is the same for everyone, whatever age you are and wherever you live.
Keep social distancing, wash your hands regularly and isolate and get tested if you have symptoms.
From Friday 24 July, wearing a face covering is compulsory in shops and supermarkets. This is another easy way you can help. You may not know you are infectious. You may have no symptoms at all but that very same virus could be fatal for someone else.
When used correctly, wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets, helping to protect others.
Are there areas that have higher rates than others?
Yes, and we are targeting any areas that have spikes in infection rates.
Initially, we’ve targeted Ravensthorpe, Saville Town and Batley West, for extra support and have been focussing on people in the 20-40 years old age group.
We’re now also delivering additional support in Birkby and Fartown where we’ve also noticed spikes in infection rates.
We will continue 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.
What is the council doing?
We’re using the data we now receive to target areas in Kirklees that have higher infection rates.
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
We’re also offering increased testing in affected areas. 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.
In the last week, we’ve also written to all residents in Kirklees with the latest information on how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Should I get tested?