By Tatiana Zaituni –
COVID-19 infection rates have dropped by 12 per cent in Kirklees over the last week, but hospital admissions and the number of deaths related to the virus in the same period have risen once more.
Kirklees Council’s Director of Public Health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, says infection rates in Kirklees are falling but there is still a long way to go in preventing more local people being admitted to hospital and losing their lives.
Kirklees’s drop in cases follows the nationwide trend as the vaccine continues to roll out.
Cases and Hospitalisations
There were 888 new positive COVID-19 cases in the borough over the last seven days which is a drop of 12 per cent on last week.
However, the amount of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in Kirklees has increased. 102 residents were admitted to local hospitals over the last week, up from 98 last week.
There are currently 188 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with COVID-19 which is higher than the first peak in spring last year and has increased since last week when it was 186.
There were sadly 22 COVID-19 related deaths in the last week – which is higher than 17 the previous week.
The latest data shows that in the last seven days 201 per 100,000 people in Kirklees tested positive for COVID-19, compared to the previous week when it was 230 per 100,000 people.
‘Rates Need to Come Down Further’
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “It’s positive that our infection rates are falling, and I want to thank everyone for their efforts and continuing to keep each other safe.
“We have to be honest; we need to see our rates come down further and at a faster rate than they currently are. Over the last week we’ve seen the number of Kirklees residents being treated in local hospitals for the virus go up, and sadly so has the amount of people to have lost their lives.
“Most other parts of the country are seeing steeper drops in their number of infections, meaning we’re quickly moving from having one of the lowest rates in the country to now being at the national average.
“We need to improve this, and we can all play our part.
“By following all the guidance in place, you can help to ease the growing pressure on our health services and save lives. 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 continuing to roll out, with thousands of the most at-risk people across Kirklees receiving theirs in recent weeks. If you’re over 70 and haven’t been contacted yet, please book your appointment online or call 119. For everyone else, please just wait to be contacted.
“Thank you once again for playing your part during these difficult times.”
In the last 7 days, there have been 106,196 confirmed positive cases nationwide – a 28.6 % decrease from last week. In the previous 7 days, there have been 5,279 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
This week brings us to the end of our sixth week in Lockdown. National lockdown means you should stay at home unless otherwise stated. For full information, visit the government website of COVID-19 guidelines.
At the time of writing, 13,509,108 people have received their first dose of vaccination for COVID-19, which still leaves 2 million more people to be vaccinated if the government is to reach the target of 15 million people in the four priority groups to be vaccinated by Monday 15th February.
This week 524 447 people have taken their second dose of the vaccination for COVID-19 around the UK.
This week’s Covid-19 News in Brief
New travel quarantine rules are set to come into effect on Monday 15 February. Any UK resident or Irish National who has been in or travelled through one of the government’s ‘red-list’ countries, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.
Matt Hancock has said that anyone caught trying to lie about their trip to a country on the government’s red list at the border could face a 10,000 fine or prosecution with a maximum of ten-years prison sentence.
Residents will have to book and pay for their own stay at a quarantine hotel. Figures estimate that residents may have to pay up to £1,750 for 10 days stay.
Full details and guidance about the new rules can be found on the government’s website.
As the UK enters the seventh week of the third national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the government will provide a ‘road map’ out of lockdown on February 22nd as long as the coronavirus is kept under control.
The Prime Minister remains hopeful that schools will re-open by March 8th and has ruled out any possibility of an earlier date owing to the vaccination programme review on 15 February.
The Government announced a new drive to boost workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown with more than 50 employees. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.
“When you consider that around one in three people have the virus without symptoms and could potentially infect people without even knowing it, it becomes clear why focusing testing on those without symptoms is so essential.
“We are already working with many employers to scale up workforce testing, spanning the food industry, retail sector, transport network, and across the public sector too.
“I strongly urge businesses and employees across the country to take up this offer of rapid testing to help stop this virus from spreading further.”