By KLTV Newsdesk
After a steady overall decline over the past few months, the rate of infection (ROI) in Kirklees has gone up over the past week according to new weekly data from the council.
The council’s data says that 29.8 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This has increased from 27.5 people per 100,000 residents the previous week.
The current national rate is 6.4. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 18.6.
Leicester’s rates remain the highest in the country at 115.99 per 100,000 people.
As a whole, during the pandemic, a total of 2,011 cases have been reported in the region so far, which statistically comes to 464.3 people per 100,000 residents in Kirklees testing positive for the virus.
The council did note that a relatively small number of cases can make a large difference to rates and that should be considered when looking at weekly changes and comparisons with other areas.
In a statement on Thursday, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “After a steady overall decline, the rate of infection in Kirklees has gone up over the past week and we cannot ignore this.
“This is a powerful warning that now is not the time to become complacent and our fight against COVID-19 is not over.
“Social distancing, hand washing and protecting the most vulnerable in our community are more important now than ever, particularly with the recent easing of lockdown measures.
“In the past few weeks, we’ve acted quickly and decisively to contain outbreaks in local workplaces.
“This kind of action always leads to more tests and positive cases in the short term which will contribute to our increase.”
Rachel also emphasised that the council will be analysing the data further in order to learn more and if they need to adjust any future action.
She added: “We are far from the levels of infection seen in Leicester but we have to take this increase seriously and we all have an equal role to play in getting the rates back down.”
The blog post outlines that one reason for the increase in ROI may be the recent outbreaks in the region, such as the one at the meat processing facility in Cleckheaton:
“In Kirklees, we have recently acted to contain outbreaks in workplaces which always leads to more tests and a high chance of more positive tests. This could affect weekly figures.
“As lockdown has eased, it could also mean that people have been in more contact with each other which has increased infections.
“What we do know for sure us that if we all follow the guidance on social distancing hand washing and staying safe, numbers will come down.”
In the post, the council also states that they are unsure as to why the ROI numbers are higher in Kirklees compared to the national rate.
“Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others.”
The council admitted that while it’s not where it wants to be in terms of ROI numbers, the increase does not necessarily mean that Kirklees will have to go into local lockdown.
Despite this, the council emphasised that needs to keep following the rules on social distancing, hand washing, and isolating.
They said: “There is no room for complacency. Everyone needs to keep following the guidance on staying safe to keep numbers as low as possible.
“They are the best way to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. And they are as important now as they have been throughout this crisis.
“We will reinforce key public health advice to residents across Kirklees so that they know how they can play their part.”
You can read the full post on the Kirklees Together Website here.