Covid-19 infection rates in Kirklees have reduced slightly over the last seven days but remain at twice the national average.

Kirklees Council’s director of public health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, said the district was moving in the right direction but urged caution as infection rates were falling only slowly – a reduction of 8% in the last week.

With 95 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive over the last seven days, the rate is still above the national average of 58 per 100,000.

There were 422 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – fewer than last week when there were 459.

The vaccine roll out is now also having an impact, with hospitalisations related to Covid-19 and the number of inpatients both dropping again over the last week.

There were 24 Kirklees people admitted to local hospitals with Covid-19 over the last week, which has dropped from 30 last week. There are currently 41 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is lower than last week, when it was 51.

There were sadly seven people who died with Covid-19 in local hospitals in the last week – which is up from four in the previous week.

Jim Allan receives his jab

Ms Spencer-Henshall said: “I’d like to thank everyone across Kirklees for continuing to play their part in bringing our Covid-19 infection rate and number of hospitalisations due to the virus down.

“In addition to following the guidance and sticking to lockdown rules, we can confidently say that the great start Kirklees has made in rolling out the vaccine is already helping our numbers move in the right direction.

“Thank you to the health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the vaccine rollout possible and to the 160,000 local people who have now had at least their first vaccine dose.

“The government’s national roadmap out of lockdown makes it clear that for restrictions to ease, one of the four tests we need to meet is to make sure infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations.

“With our infection rate currently above the national average, and only falling slowly, it’s clear that we all need to remain cautious and keep following the guidance.

“All you need to do to play your part is stay at home as much as possible until restrictions can ease and take the vaccine when it’s your turn. If you do this, you’re playing your part in keeping yourself, your family and your community safe.

“We’re making progress and we can look forward to the future with hope. The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown shows us the route we need to take to get all of our freedoms back, but we’re not there yet.

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