After a steady overall decline, the rate of infection in Kirklees has gone up over the past week and we cannot ignore this.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said:
“After a steady overall decline, the rate of infection in Kirklees has gone up over the past week and we cannot ignore this.
“This is a powerful warning that now is not the time to become complacent and our fight against COVID-19 is not over. Social distancing, hand washing and protecting the most vulnerable in our community are more important now than ever, particularly with the recent easing of lockdown measures.
“In the past few weeks, we’ve acted quickly and decisively to contain outbreaks in local workplaces. This kind of action always leads to more tests and positive cases in the short term which will contribute to our increase.
“We will be analysing the data further over the next few days to learn more and if we need to adjust our action, we will do so.
“We are far from the levels of infection seen in Leicester but we have to take this increase seriously and we all have an equal role to play in getting the rates back down.”
Below is some useful information on the equal role we all have to play in getting the rates back down.
What does it mean for Kirklees?
During the pandemic, 464.3 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.
The data also tells us that 29.8 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This has increased from 27.5 people per 100,000 residents the previous week.
The current national rate is 6.4. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 18.6.
Leicester’s rates remain the highest in the country at 115.99 per 100,000 people.
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 infections higher in Kirklees this week compared to last week?
In Kirklees, we have recently acted to contain outbreaks in workplaces which always leads to more tests and a high chance of more positive tests. This could affect the weekly figures.
As lockdown has eased, it could also mean that people have been in more contact with each other which has increased infections.
What we do know for sure us that if we all follow the guidance on social distancing hand washing and staying safe, numbers will come down.
Why are the numbers higher in Kirklees than elsewhere?
It’s very difficult to say for certain what the reason for the increase is.
Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others.
Our actions to tackle the spread of the virus
It’s up to everyone to follow the rules on social distancing, handwashing and isolating. They are the best way to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. And they are as important now as they have been throughout this crisis.
The council will continue to act quickly on outbreaks so that infections do not spread from workplaces into the community. We will reinforce key public health advice to residents across Kirklees so that they know how they can play their part. We will make sure we are cautious about how and when we reopen services that people need to visit in person. And we will be supporting businesses to operate safely for their staff and customers.
Does this mean there’s going to be a local lockdown?
We still remain some way behind the rates in Leicester and this increase does not currently mean we will go in to a local lockdown, but we are not where we would like to be.
Leicester’s rates remain the highest in the country at 115.99 per 100,000 people, whilst ours are 29.8.
However, there is no room for complacency. Everyone needs to keep following the guidance on staying safe to keep numbers as low as possible.
Does it tell us exactly how many people have had COVID-19 in Kirklees?
No. Some people who get the virus don’t have any symptoms so we wouldn’t know about them. Others won’t have taken a test for other reasons and wouldn’t be counted here. The figures published today can give us a rough, but useful, idea of the number of cases locally.
Why can’t I see where every case is in Kirklees?
We don’t yet have reliable data to break down the numbers any further.
What should I do?
Keep following the advice on hand washing, social distancing and all the other ways you can keep safe. For more help and advice visit Kirklees Council’s website.