The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees has fallen by 23% in the last week – but levels are still amongst the highest in the country.

Figures show that 207,000 people in Kirklees have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 107,000 of those have had their second.

Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, deaths and hospitalisations have been steadily falling and are remaining at a much lower level.

There was one death in local hospitals related to Covid-19, down from four last week. The number of people being treated with the virus in those hospitals is 11, down from 16 last week.

With 55 people per 100,000 in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s infection rate has dropped by 23% since last week. There were 243 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees, a decrease from last week when there were 316.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “The success the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine is having in Kirklees is fantastic and it’s thanks to the 207,000 of you who have had at least your first dose and of course, the remarkable health staff and volunteers who have made this possible.

“We have started to see the number of people in local hospitals and deaths related to the virus drop and remain low since the beginning of the vaccine programme. This is really encouraging, but we need to make sure we don’t become complacent.

“Our infection rate is still something we need to monitor closely because it is telling us that the virus is still spreading in our communities and more so in Kirklees than most other areas in England.

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“As more and more restrictions are lifted, we have to make sure our infection rate does not increase and lead to more people being admitted to hospital or losing their lives.

“Now is the worst possible time to think we’re out of the woods and we all have a crucial role to play in getting Kirklees through the roadmap out of lockdown safely.

“There are some simple steps we can all take to make sure we build on the progress we’ve made over the past few months and bring infections down further. There are three things I’m asking everyone to do over the next few weeks. Keeping doing the basics, stay safe outdoors and get vaccinated.

Council leader Shabir Pandor receives his jab

Keep doing the basics means; continue to wash your hands, wear a mask and make sure you’re social distancing when you’re out. Getting tested regularly, or if you have symptoms, is another important way to keep our community safe.

It’s safer outdoors – we can now enjoy more freedoms, including meeting people outside our household. There’s much less chance of passing on the virus when you’re outside but please remember to stick to the public health advice.

When it’s your turn, please take the vaccine – if you’re over 40, you can book your appointment right now. The vaccine is safe, effective and protects both you and your community. Over 300,000 vaccinations have now been administered in Kirklees and the programme is successfully bringing down the number of people needing hospital treatment.

“The vaccination programme benefits all age groups and it’s important for us all to take it when it’s our turn. It doesn’t matter how young or heathy you are, Covid-19 still presents a risk and the vaccine protects us all. 

“By working together, we can bring our infection rates down, ease pressure on our health services and finally get our lives back to normal. Thank you for playing your part.”

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