An update on surge testing, vaccinations and infection rates
With Kirklees’ infection rate one of the highest in the country, and cases of the Indian variant detected locally, we’re urging everyone to stay cautious and take the Covid-19 vaccine when it is their turn, so we can continue to follow the national roadmap out of lockdown.
A small number of cases of the new Covid-19 variant, first detected in India, have been identified in Kirklees and infection rates are rising, which means we all have to play our part to prevent our situation growing in seriousness.
In a bid to help us do this, Government announced this week that surge testing and additional vaccinations will be introduced to Kirklees and a number of other areas with higher Covid-19 infection rates. We’re now working to put this in place and will announce an update early next week on the start of this additional support.
The council, NHS and other partner organisations, are already working hard to bring our infection rate down and this announcement will help us to build on this further.
As we’ve been reporting in recent weeks, Kirklees’ infection rate is one of the highest in the country and is rising. With 72 people per 100,000 in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s infection rate has increased by 35 per cent since last week. The national average is 20 people per 100,000.
Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, deaths and hospitalisations have been steadily falling and are remaining at a much lower level. There were no deaths in local hospitals related to Covid-19, down from one last week. There are currently eight people being treated for the virus in local hospitals, up from seven last week.
Thanks to your fantastic response, we already have positive levels of vaccine uptake in Kirklees with 225,000 local people having had their first dose and 139,000 of those have received their second. By speeding up the delivery of the vaccine in Kirklees, and adding more pop-up clinics where they’re needed most, we can reduce infection rates and protect local people.
Go to getting a PCR test if you have symptoms if you require a test because you have symptoms.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council, said: “Rates of infection in Kirklees have been rising in recent weeks and there are concerns nationally about the new variant which was first detected in India.
“There is no evidence to suggest this variant causes more severe illness than any other variant currently circulating in the UK, but it is understood to spread more easily. We’ve isolated all the cases of the variant which we’ve identified locally, but we can’t take any chances and we need to take further action.
“Surge testing is a really effective way of detecting and isolating cases and we’re working hard to start this in Kirklees and will announce details early next week.
“We will continue to work with government and partners in the NHS to increase vaccine take up and how we can support residents more to isolate. In the meantime, I’m urging everyone in Kirklees to be extra cautious and stick to the public guidance.
“Deaths and hospitalisations related to the virus remain at a low level in Kirklees with our successful start to the vaccine rollout having an impact. But we have to make sure our infection rate does not continue to increase and lead to these numbers rising too.
“We all need to continue to play our part so we can get Kirklees through the roadmap out of lockdown safely.
“Every vaccination matters. The more people that take it, the safer we all are and the sooner we can get back to normality. You’ll be contacted when it’s your turn and anyone aged 34 and over in Kirklees can book their vaccination now.
“It’s really important, that even when you have received your vaccine, that you continue to do the basics: hands, face, space as well as letting plenty of fresh air indoors.
“Getting tested regularly is a really effective way we can all prevent the spread of the virus. This is really important even if you have been vaccinated.
“Thank you all for play your part.”