By Tatiana Zaituni –
The COVID-19 infection rate in Kirklees has dropped by a further 26 per cent over the last week, with hospitalisations and deaths related to the virus also falling – as 140,000 local people have now had at least their first vaccine dose.
Kirklees’ infection rate, however, still remains amongst the highest in the country.
Cases and Hospitalisations
In Kirklees, the infection rate has dropped 26 per cent over the last week, with 104 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive over the last seven days. The current national average is 86 per 100,000 people.
There were 459 new confirmed cases in Kirklees over the last week, compared to last week when there were 621.
An estimated 97 per cent of these cases are of the Kent variant of COVID-19, which has been shown to spread more easily.
30 Kirklees residents have been admitted to local hospitals over the last week, which has decreased by 23 compared to the previous seven days.
There are currently 51 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with COVID-19, this number is also fewer compared to last week, when it was 63.
Sadly, there were another four COVID-19 related deaths in Kirklees over the last week.
‘Moving in the right direction
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Our numbers are continuing to move in the right direction and I’d like to thank everyone across Kirklees for helping to do this.
“Infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths have all dropped for a second week in a row.
“I believe we are now seeing the vaccination programme have a positive impact on the data, with hospitalisations and deaths the lowest they have been for a long time.
“Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated and crucially to the health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the rollout possible”.
Ms Spencer-Henshall noted that while the news is positive, further improvements are still needed to reduce the infection rate in Kirklees, which remains one of the highest in the country.
She added that figures can quickly rise if care is not taken.
She said: “The government’s national roadmap out of lockdown also makes it clear that for restrictions to ease, one of the four tests we need to meet is to make sure infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations.
“Every single one of us has a crucial role to play in getting Kirklees through the national roadmap so we can get the freedoms we all miss back.
“As a resident, your role is simple, 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 safe as well as your family and your community.
“We can be really encouraged by the progress we have made once again this week and we can be hopeful that through the national roadmap we will get our lives back to some kind of normal in the near future”.
In the last 7 days, there have been 40,983 confirmed positive cases nationwide, a further decrease from last week cases.
In the last 7 days, there have been 1082 COVID-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
This week brings us to the end of our tenth week in Lockdown. National lockdown means you should stay at home unless otherwise stated.
As of this week, on 8 March, children across the UK returned to schools as part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
In terms of social contact, people are now allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, if they are eligible for one, or with one person from outside their household.
Care home residents are now allowed one regular visitor.
From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed, and further outdoor leisure and sports facilities, such as tennis courts and open-air swimming pools, will be allowed to reopen.
Over 140,000 people in Kirklees have now had their first vaccination.
Nationally, as of this week, a total of 23,314,525 people have accepted and received their first vaccination. A further 1,445,078 people have been fully vaccinated with their second dose.
This week’s COVID-19 news in brief
Renowned street artist Banksy hopes to raise £3 Million for the NHS through an auction of an original canvas. The auction will take place on 23 March.
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty commented on a potential uptick in virus numbers as the restrictions continue to ease.
He said: “As things are opening up, what all the modelling suggests is that at some point we will get a surge in the virus.”
The network of ‘Nightingale’ hospitals in England will begin to close down from April, including Yorkshire’s Nightingale hospital in Harrogate.
The Harrogate Nightingale hospital will close without having treated a single COVID-19 patient and will continue to operate as a testing centre until it closes.
Other sites across the country will remain open to administer vaccinations.
YouTube says that they have removed over 30,000 video spreading COVID-19 vaccination conspiracies.
Despite scientific evidence of the coronavirus, YouTube is constantly fighting the spread of misinformation.
Elena Hernandez, a spokesperson for the video-sharing platform, announced the figures, making it the first time the company has shared this data publicly.
All data is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change as figures are updated.