Infection rates drop, but still above national average

The COVID-19 infection rate in Kirklees has dropped by a further 26 per cent over the last week, with hospitalisations and deaths related to the virus also falling – as 140,000 local people have now had at least their first vaccine dose.

Kirklees’ infection rate, however, remains amongst the highest in the country and the council is urging everyone to play their part in bringing it down further so we can get through the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown together.

With 104 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive for COVID-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s rate has dropped by 26 per cent since last week. However, Kirklees’ rate is still above the national average of 60 per 100,000.

There were 459 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – fewer than last week when there were 621. Around 97 per cent of these cases were of the Kent variant, which has shown to be spread more easily. View all the data on the online dashboard.

It’s likely that we are now seeing early signs of the impact of the vaccine rollout, with hospitalisations and deaths related to Covid-19 both dropping again over the last week. More than 140,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

There were 30 Kirklees people admitted to local hospitals with Covid-19 over the last week, which has dropped from 53 last week. There are currently 51 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is lower than last week, when it was 63.

There were sadly four Covid-19 related deaths in local hospitals in the last week – but this is a drop from six in the previous week.

Kirklees Council, with partners and volunteers, is helping to prevent the spread of the virus in a number of ways:

Twice-weekly testing is also now available to households and bubbles of school pupils and staff who live or work in Kirklees.

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.

On Monday 22 February 2021, Government announced its roadmap for England to gradually and safely come out of lockdown and for all Covid-19 restrictions to eventually be removed.

The first changes to restrictions as part of the roadmap were introduced on 8 March 2021, meaning you can now meet one other person outside for recreation or exercise whilst remembering hands, face, space.

You can read everything you need to know on the roadmap on Kirklees Council’s website.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Our numbers are continuing to move in the right direction and I’d like to thank everyone across Kirklees for helping to do this.

“Infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths have all dropped for a second week in a row and alongside this, 140,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

“I believe we are now seeing the vaccination programme have a positive impact on the data, with hospitalisations and deaths the lowest they have been for a long time. Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated and crucially to the health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the rollout possible.

“Whilst this is all positive, we still need to improve further because our infection rate is still amongst the highest in the country and our figures can quickly rise if we are not careful.

“The government’s national roadmap out of lockdown also makes it clear that for restrictions to ease, one of the four tests we need to meet is to make sure infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations. With our infection rate currently above the national average, it’s clear that we all need to remain cautious and keep following the guidance.

“Every single one of us has a crucial role to play in getting Kirklees through the national roadmap so we can get the freedoms we all miss back. As a resident, your role is simple, stay at home as much as possible until restrictions can ease and take the vaccine when it’s your turn. If you do this, you’re playing your part in keeping yourself safe as well as your family and your community.

“If you need to leave home, always remember the basics: hands, face, space. Also remember to let plenty of fresh air into your home – this can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

“We can be really encouraged by the progress we have made once again this week and we can be hopeful that through the national roadmap we will get our lives back to some kind of normal in the near future. But we must remember that we’re not there yet. Thank you for playing your part.”

If you’re vulnerable and need support, please visit Kirklees Council’s website or call 0800 4561114.