By Leah Conway & Tatiana Zaituni –
Kirklees now has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate in West Yorkshire but cases have still increased slightly over the last week and remain above average.
Cases and Hospitalisations
109 people per 100,000 in Kirklees tested positive over the last seven days. This is a 2% increase over last week. Kirklees’ rate remains above the national average of 55 per 100,000.
There were 478 new confirmed cases in Kirklees over the last week compared to last week’s 465 confirmed cases.
19 Kirklees residents were admitted to local hospitals in the last 17 days, which has dropped from 23 people last week.
This week another two people have sadly died from COVID-19 in Kirklees hospitals.
‘Continue to follow the public health guidance’
The council has continued to urge caution over the Easter break, as more families gather due to the easing of restrictions.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “The Easter break is a time when people will get together to see family and friends. It’s important to remember that it’s so much safer to gather outdoors and limit the number of people you see.
“The vaccination programme is making a real difference and I want to say thank you to everyone who has played their part and had theirs.
“Vaccines are keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives. But we have to remember we still have a high rate of infection in Kirklees which means there are real risks for people’s health.
“Even if you have had the vaccine it’s really important that you continue to follow the public health guidance.
“The vaccine protects you from serious illness but it doesn’t necessarily stop you passing on the infection to others who may be more vulnerable.
“If we can all follow the rules and do the basics, we will continue along the roadmap and get our freedoms back.”
In the last seven days, there have been 31,989 confirmed positive cases nationwide, a further decrease of 16.7% from last week cases. The seven-day average was 4,570.
There have been 320 COVID-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test this week, which is down 200 compared to last week.
Lockdown restrictions were eased on 29 March but the public is urged to still ‘stay local’ and cautious over the bank holiday weekend.
Lockdown restrictions easing means that outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed. This includes private gardens.
Outdoor sports facilities will reopen, organised sports can begin again and outdoor parent and child groups will be permitted (up to 15 Parents or guardians)
The stay at home order has ended, being replaced with ‘stay local’, but most lockdown restrictions will remain.
The next easing of restrictions will take place no earlier than 12 April.
Over 187,000 people in Kirklees have had their first vaccination. Currently, if you’re over 50 you can book your vaccine now.
As of this week, a total of 31,147,444 people have accepted their first vaccination. The total number of those who have accepted the second dose is 4,513,458.
This week’s COVID-19 News in brief
Wednesday 31 March was the last day that millions of vulnerable people in England and Wales were required to shield
Through a series of surveys since March 2020, research from PHE, University College London and King’s College London has found that only 43 per cent of respondents adhered to self-isolation rules when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
A US trial has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe to use in children aged 12 to 15.
Sir Lenny Henry has encouraged Black Britons to take up the Covid-19 vaccine in an open letter.
The letter was signed by other high-profile names including film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, author Malorie Blackman and radio DJ Trevor Nelson,
All data is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change as figures are updated.