Local COVID-19 test results data shows 29 per cent drop in positive cases in Kirklees – but the fight isn’t over yet

The local data shows that our rates of COVID-19 infection have dropped by 29 per cent in Kirklees over the last seven days – but the fight isn’t over yet.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Thanks to the efforts of everyone in Kirklees, the local data shows that our rates of COVID-19 infection have dropped by 29 per cent over the last seven days.

“However, our rates still remain above the national average and we need to continue to bring them down further. If we become complacent, a second wave can easily happen.

“We all have a part to play in doing this and the easiest and most effective way is to continue to social distance, wash hands regularly and get tested if you have symptoms. We’re now also urging people not to hold events that could attract a crowd of more than 30 people.

“You will also now be aware that the Government announced new restrictions for areas in the North of England, including Kirklees, on 30 July. It means that for the time being you cannot visit people from other households in their home or garden unless they are in your support bubble.

“I can completely understand the disappointment this will cause, particularly with our rates decreasing again this week, and we are speaking with the Government to understand more about this decision and how we can get these freedoms back as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, please adhere to the new restrictions, so we can continue to bring our rates down and save lives.”

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, 544.1 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.

The data also tells us that 19.8 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This is lower than the rate of 28.0 we had last week, which was similar to 27.8 the previous week.

The current national rate is 8.0. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 22.2.

In summary, our infection rates have dropped by 29%  over the last week but we’re still above the national average and we need to see our rates come down further to save lives.

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.

New restrictions for Kirklees

On 30 July, the government announced new restrictions for 4 million people in the North of England, including everyone in Kirklees.

The main change in the rules is about visiting people in their homes or gardens. The new restrictions mean:

  • You cannot visit any other home or garden that isn’t your own.
  • You cannot have anyone visit your home or garden.

If you are part of a support bubble, you can continue to visit each other.

If you are going out (to a restaurant, pub or other indoor space) you must not go with anyone from outside your household. You cannot meet or interact indoors with people outside your household while you are out.

Read more on what these new restrictions mean for Kirklees.

How else 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.

Please do not organise or attend an event that is likely to attract a crowd of more than 30 people.

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 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’ve also been 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.

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?

If you have symptoms, you should get tested. Find out more about how to get a test.

5 comments

  • Anne &Peter Norman

    Well done Kirklees. Pity the government couldn’t be as clear

  • Hi. I understand the reasons behind the further restrictions but couldn’t Kirklees be split into areas which do not have a high rate? I live in Hade Edge so it seems strange that HD9 are in the same lockdown situation as the higher covid-19 rate areas. Will this be something the Council will consider for areas outside the high rate? Thank you

    • Hi Sheila, The government has decided where the restrictions should apply. They think that there is a danger that the virus is present in areas beyond the clusters we have seen over previous weeks. Other local authorities have recently seen increases in cases in areas where the virus have previously been low. They think that might also happen in Kirklees. Kind regards^CP

  • Having moved to Kirklees from Milton Keynes the day before the lockdown it is quite unclear as to whether I am allowed to return to MK to complete my house move. I understand that a broad brush is needed to help contain localised flare ups but if there is a lesson to be learnt from this situation it is clarity of communication.

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