The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees has dropped by another 26% over the last week as 140,000 local people have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

The infection rate in Kirklees, however, remains amongst the highest in the country and Kirklees Council is urging everyone to play their part in bringing it down further.

With 104 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s rate has dropped by 26% since last week. However, Kirklees’ rate is still above the national average of 60 per 100,000.

There were 459 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – fewer than last week when there were 621. Around 97% of these cases were of the Kent variant, which has shown to be spread more easily.

It’s likely that we are now seeing early signs of the impact of the vaccine rollout, with hospitalisations and deaths related to Covid-19 both dropping again over the last week. More than 140,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

There were 30 Kirklees people admitted to local hospitals with Covid-19 over the last week, which has dropped from 53 last week. There are currently 51 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is lower than last week, when it was 63.

There were sadly four Covid-19 related deaths in local hospitals in the last week – but this is a drop from six in the previous week.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “Our numbers are continuing to move in the right direction and I’d like to thank everyone across Kirklees for helping to do this.

“Infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths have all dropped for a second week in a row and alongside this, 140,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

“I believe we are now seeing the vaccination programme have a positive impact on the data, with hospitalisations and deaths the lowest they have been for a long time. Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated and crucially to the health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the rollout possible.

“Whilst this is all positive, we still need to improve further because our infection rate is still amongst the highest in the country and our figures can quickly rise if we are not careful.

“The Government’s national roadmap out of lockdown also 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, it’s clear that we all need to remain cautious and keep following the guidance.

“Every single one of us has a crucial role to play in getting Kirklees through the national roadmap so we can get the freedoms we all miss back. As a resident, your role is simple, 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 safe as well as your family and your community.

“If you need to leave home, always remember the basics: hands, face, space. Also remember to let plenty of fresh air into your home – this can significantly reduce the risk of infection. 

“We can be really encouraged by the progress we have made once again this week and we can be hopeful that through the national roadmap we will get our lives back to some kind of normal in the near future. But we must remember that we’re not there yet. Thank you for playing your part.”

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