‘Be kind and be safe’ is the message from public health chief Rachel Spencer-Henshall as Covid-19 infection rates rise by another 24% in a week.

With all legal restrictions lifted, the infection rate continues to rise across the country and Ms Spencer-Henshall has warned young people not to think Covid-19 won’t affect them.

In Kirklees 451 people per 100,000 tested positive over the last seven days. This is below the national average of 529 people per 100,000.

There were no deaths in local hospitals related to Covid-19. However, there were 30 people admitted to those hospitals in that time, which has increased from 16 the previous week.

So far in Kirklees 278,000 local people have had their first dose of the vaccine and 229,000 of those have received their second.

Kirklees Council is encouraging everyone over the age of 18 to get a jab.

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Ms Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “We’re now in a very different stage of the Covid-19 pandemic. All restrictions have been lifted but the virus has not gone and our infection rates – alongside the rest of the country – are high and are increasing each week.

“Hospital admissions and deaths related to the virus remain low, with the vaccine rollout having a really positive impact. We are seeing a slight rise in hospital admissions, however, particularly within the younger population.

Young people are being encouraged to get the jab

“Restrictions lifting mean we now have a choice to make in how we keep ourselves and our families safe. My ask to everyone is to be kind to each other. A lot of people still remain vulnerable to serious illness from Covid-19.

“You can continue to show them kindness by taking actions to not only protect yourself but our most vulnerable too.

“So, we’re also asking everyone to show kindness to others by giving people space, wearing a face covering in crowded or shared spaces like offices or if asked, meet people outside if you can, continue to wash your hands regularly and let plenty of fresh air indoors.

“The very best thing you can do is take both doses of the vaccine. By taking the vaccine you are protecting yourself and will also reduce your chances of passing Covid-19 on to someone who could become severely ill.

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“Just because you’re young and healthy, there’s no guarantee Covid-19 won’t significantly impact your health and we have seen hospital admissions rise amongst younger age groups in the last week. The best way to protect yourself, whatever your age, is to take the vaccine.

“For effective and longer-lasting protection from Covid-19, you do need your second dose. It better protects you and others who might be more vulnerable to Covid-19.

“Getting a twice-weekly lateral flow test is a really effective way we can all prevent the spread of the virus. This is really important even if you have been vaccinated.

“Thank you all for playing your part.”