There’s been a big drop in Covid-19 infections in Kirklees in the last seven days.

The latest figures show the infection rate has reduced by 25% and more than 197,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first Covid-19 vaccine dose.

Kirklees Council is still urging people to remain cautious, however.

With 58 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive over the last seven days, the borough’s rate has dropped by a quarter since last week. However, Kirklees’ rate remains above the national average of 23 per 100,000 and needs to drop further and faster.

There were 257 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – fewer than last week when there were 330.

There are currently 16 in-patients in local hospitals being treated for Covid-19 – the same number as last week. There was one death related to Covid-19 in local hospitals in the last week – which is up from zero the previous week.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “The success we’re seeing in Kirklees with the vaccine rollout is fantastic. Nearly 200,000 of you have had your first dose, and more than 70,000 have had your second.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated so far and, of course, to the health workers and volunteers who have made our start to the vaccine programme such a success.

Helen Broscombe receives her jab in Birkby

“The number of people being treated in local hospitals for Covid-19 and the number of deaths related to the virus are currently at their lowest point for a long time.

“Although our infection rate has dropped this week, it is still above the national average and needs to come down further and faster, particularly as we now enjoy some of the freedoms that have recently returned. There’s a really important role we all have to play in doing this.

“The risk of infection is significantly lower as the fresh air helps to disperse the virus particles. So, if you are meeting with people from other households in line with changes to restrictions, it’s so much safer outdoors. And always remember: hands, face, space when you’re leaving home.

“Taking the vaccine when it’s your turn is the best way we can save lives, keep pressure off the NHS and get our lives back to normality. It significantly protects you from Covid-19. The more people that take it, the bigger chance we have of beating Covid-19 for good.

“Another great way you can help reduce the spread of the virus in your community is by getting a rapid lateral flow test twice a week if you are not showing any symptoms. Asymptomatic testing helps us identify people who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly.

“It’s great that we can all now start to do some of the things we’ve all missed in recent months with a number of restrictions now being lifted. Thank you for everything you are doing and have done during the whole pandemic. Please remember to stay cautious and keep each other safe so we can get Kirklees through the national roadmap out of lockdown and back to normality.”

If you’re vulnerable and need support, please visit Kirklees Council’s website or call 0800 4561114.