COVID-19 cases drop for the first time this year – but more people admitted to hospital

COVID-19 infection rates have dropped by 17 per cent in the last week, but there are currently more Kirklees residents being treated for the virus in local hospitals than there were in the first peak in spring last year.

There were 1,136 new positive COVID-19 cases in the borough over the last seven days which is a drop of around 17 per cent from last week. You can view all the data on the online dashboard.

However, there were 89 Kirklees residents admitted to local hospitals over the last week, which has increased from 79 last week.

There is currently a total of 184 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with COVID-19 which is a higher number than in the first peak in the spring of last year.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths has also increased since last week, with 18 people sadly losing their lives from Kirklees in local hospitals – up from 12 last week.

The new variant of the virus has also quickly grown in prevalence in Kirklees. 64 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases were of the new variant over the last week.

The latest data shows that in the last seven days 258 per 100,000 people in Kirklees tested positive for COVID-19, compared to the previous week when it was 312 per 100,000 people.

The Government announced on Monday 4 January that all areas in England are now in a national lockdown, with COVID-19 rates rapidly rising throughout the country.

Visit Kirklees Council’s website for more information about the restrictions in place.

The council is encouraging all critical workers without symptoms to get tested weekly at one of four centres across Kirklees. You can view the Government’s website for a list of critical workers.

Visit Kirklees Council’s website for more information, and to find your local community testing centre.

As the country is in lockdown and we need to stay at home as much as possible, our four community testing sites are now only open to critical workers.

Anyone in Kirklees who has COVID-19 symptoms still needs to arrange a test by calling 119 or going to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “It’s a good sign that our rates have dropped after we saw them rise sharply each week after the festive period.

“This is positive news and it’s thanks to the efforts of local people. But we need to be honest, we remain a long way off where we need to be. The amount of local people being admitted to hospital has once again increased as well as those to have sadly lost their lives.

“There are currently 184 people from Kirklees in local hospitals being treated for COVID-19 which is higher than the peak we saw in the spring of last year and the same as November when our rates were amongst the highest in the country. This is alarming. We have to save lives and our health services need us to ease the mounting pressure they face to care for people.

“We can all play our part in doing this. The best thing you can do to protect your family and community is to stay at home. Only leave your home for essential reasons and for exercise and don’t mix with other households. Please remember that the basics – such as hand-washing, social-distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms – are still a key way we can reduce infections.

“If you’re a critical worker and need to leave home to do your job, please get tested once a week at one of our four community testing centres if you don’t have symptoms. As many as one in three people who have the virus are asymptomatic, so it’s really important we identify people who are carrying the virus without knowing.

“The vaccine programme has begun its rollout in Kirklees, starting with the most vulnerable and most at risk of infection. This gives us the hope we need and the confidence that we can save lives and start to get back the freedoms we all miss. Thousands of local people have already had their vaccine – thank you for playing you part. You will be contacted when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. In the meantime, following the guidance will reduce the risk to you and your community”

I want you to know that we are here to support you. If you’re vulnerable and need support, please visit Kirklees Council’s website or call 0800 4561114.