Council urges caution ahead of next stage of lockdown easing as Kirklees' Covid-19 infection rate continues to rise
Kirklees’ Covid-19 infection rate has increased over the last week and, with some lockdown restrictions set to ease on Monday (March 29), the council is urging everyone to remain cautious.
With 105 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s rate has increased by ten per cent since last week. Kirklees’ rate is also above the national average of 55 per 100,000.
There were 465 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – more than last week when there were 422.
More than 176,000 local people have now had at least their first Covid-19 vaccine dose, and with hospitalisations and deaths at the lowest point they have been for many months, the rollout is starting to have an impact. If you're over 50 and haven't been contacted yet, you don't have to wait - you can book your vaccine now.
There were 23 Kirklees people admitted to local hospitals with Covid-19 over the last week, which has dropped from 24 last week. There are currently 32 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is also lower than last week, when it was 41.
There were sadly two people who died with Covid-19 in local hospitals in the last week – which is down from seven in the previous week.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Kirklees Council’s director of public health, is urging local people to play their part in bringing the borough’s infection rate back down so we can continue to follow the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Ms Spencer-Henshall said: “The amount of hospital admissions and number of people losing their lives with Covid-19 are continuing to fall and are currently at their lowest point for a long time.
“This is fantastic news and we’re starting to see the impacts of the vaccine rollout. Thank you to the 176,000 people in Kirklees who have already had at least their first dose, and to the amazing health workers and volunteers for making this possible.
“However, our infection rate has increased over the last week and is still above the national average. We need to do all we can to bring it down again."
From Monday, March 29 we will all be able to do the following again:
Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed.
Outdoor sports facilities like tennis and basketball courts will re-open.
Organised adult and children's sport, like grassroots football, will begin again.
Outdoor parent and child groups will be permitted with up to 15 parents or guardians.
Weddings with up to six people will be permitted in any circumstances.
Ms Spencer-Henshall said: “From March 29 some of our freedoms are returning and this is great news, but we need to stay cautious.
"The key with this latest change to restrictions is to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors, which is a much less risky way to meet with others, whilst maintaining social distancing.
“The Government has been clear that for restrictions to continue to ease, we must ensure infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations.
"It’s clear that we need to improve and keep following the guidance so we can get Kirklees through the roadmap out of lockdown.
“All you need to do to play your part is 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, your family and your community safe.
“If you are leaving your home for any reason, please 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.
“The vaccine rollout is continuing to be a success, but we need to remember that hospitalisations and deaths can quickly rise if we are not careful.
"The roadmap gives us a route out of lockdown, it’s up to us all to play our part and get Kirklees through it.
“Please continue to follow the guidance in place to keep us safe and get vaccinated when it’s your turn because it’s safe, quick, saves lives and is our best route out of all restrictions.
"Thank you for playing your part.”