By KLTV Newsdesk
COVID-19 infection rates in Kirklees have dropped by 17 per cent in the last week, with this being the first time they’ve dropped this year.
However, 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.
Cases & Hospitalisations
There were 1,136 new positive COVID-19 cases in the borough over the last seven days.
This represents a drop of roughly 17 per cent since 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.
However, a further 89 residents were admitted to local hospitals over the last week, which has increased from 79 in the prior period.
The total number of paitents in kirklees hospitals is 184.
This is now officially a higher number than in the first peak in the spring of last year.
Sadly, 18 people who tested positive for COVID-19, died in Kirklees 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.
Testing & Vaccinations
As the UK remains in the National Lockdown that was announced on Monday 4 January, Kirklees residents are being reminded to stay at home as much as possible, and only leave when necessary.
The council is continuing to encourage all critical workers without symptoms to get tested weekly at one of four centres across Kirklees.
Vaccinations have begun to roll out across Kirklees to priority groups outlined by the government.
It was recently mentioned in a tweet from Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, that the John Smith’s Stadium will open as one of the mass vaccination centres from February 1st
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.
‘Long Way Off’
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.”
Ms Spencer-Henshall described the current number of people in Kirklees Hospitals as “alarming” and that “health services need us to ease the mounting pressure” to care for patients.
She added: “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.
“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.”