By Tatiana Zaituni & Leah Conway –
COVID-19 Infection rates in Kirklees have continued to drop for another consecutive week. However, rates are still falling slowly and remain nearly double the national average according to the latest figures.
Over 160,000 Kirklees residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far.
Cases and Hospitalisations
95 per 100,000 people in Kirklees are testing positive over the last seven days, which is a drop of eight per cent compared to last week. Yet it remains higher than the national average of 58 per 100,000 people.
There were 422 new confirmed cases in Kirklees over the last week, this is another small drop compared to last week when it was 459.
The trend of which variant also continues as 98% of these cases have been the Kent variety, which has been shown to spread more easily.
A fewer number of Kirklees residents have been admitted to local hospitals over the last week. There were 24 people admitted to local hospitals this week, which has dropped from 30 people last week. This brings the total people being treated for COVID-19 in Kirklees hospitals to 41.
Seven people have sadly died from COVID-19 in Kirklees hospitals, this is up from four deaths last week.
‘Looking forward to the future with hope’
Speaking on the latest figures, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “I’d like to thank everyone across Kirklees for continuing to play their part in bringing our COVID-19 infection rate and the number of hospitalisations due to the virus down.
“In addition to following the guidance and sticking to lockdown rules, we can confidently say that the great start Kirklees has made in rolling out the vaccine is already helping our numbers move in the right direction.
“Thank you to the health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the vaccine rollout possible and to the 160,000 local people who have now had at least their first vaccine dose.”
Ms Spencer-Henshall added that the government’s national roadmap towards easing the lockdown means that local areas need to make sure that the infection rate is kept as low as possible so as to avoid a surge in hospitalisation.
“All you need to do to play your part is to 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 valid 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.
“We’re making progress and we can look forward to the future with hope.”
In the last 7 days, there have been 39,205 confirmed positive cases nationwide, a further decrease of2.8% from last week cases. In the last 7 days, there have been 758 COVID-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test, which is a decrease of 33.7%.
As of this week, a total of 25,735,472 people have accepted their first vaccination. The number of people who have accepted the second dose is 1,879,054.
This week brings us to the end of our 11th week in Lockdown. National lockdown means you should stay at home unless otherwise stated.
As of 8 March, children across the UK have returned to schools and colleges as part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
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.
This week’s COVID-19 news in brief
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a target of vaccinating all UK adults by the end of July.
The PM also defended the 1% wage increase for NHS staff, claiming that the fact NHS staff have a pay rise while there is a wider freeze on public sector salaries shows that ministers value them and their work.
It has been announced everyone aged 50 or over in England can now book a coronavirus vaccine. If you live in Kirklees and are eligible, you can book your appointment on the NHS’ website here.
Kirklees Council announced that they are offering a new ‘Community Champions Scheme’ which is a grant to voluntary groups who tap into their local networks to provide advice about COVID-19 and the vaccines.
There have been concerns over the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine amid reports of blood clotting. Countries such as France and Germany have paused the use of it.
However, both UK medicines regulators and the World Health Organization have said that evidence does not suggest that it induces blood clots, and that use of the vaccine should continue.
The wider campaign to encourage people to take the COVID-19 vaccine continues. Matt Hancock has told people to ‘listen to the regulators’ and to ‘get the jab’ when they get the opportunity.
American pharmaceutical company Moderna has begun trialling their COVID-19 vaccine on children aged six months to 11 years old.
All data is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change as figures are updated.