The Covid-19 infection rate has increased in Kirklees for the first time in 2021. After six consecutive weeks of reductions, the past seven days have seen a rise in cases.

Kirklees Council is now urging everyone to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus as lockdown is set to ease over the coming weeks.

With 189 per 100,000 people in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s rates have increased by 9% over the last week. Kirklees’ rates are above the national average of 118 per 100,000.

There were 833 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees – more than last week when there were 764. Around 98% of these cases were of the Kent variant, which has shown to be spread more easily.

There were 49 Kirklees people admitted to local hospitals with Covid-19 over the last week, which has dropped from 84 last week.

There are currently 121 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is lower than week, when it was 150, but remains high. There were sadly 21 Covid-19 related deaths in the last week – which has dropped slightly from 23 the previous week.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council, said: “The Government’s roadmap shows us the route we need to take towards safely coming out of lockdown and eventually seeing all restrictions lifted.

“We can be optimistic, and we can be hopeful, but we cannot be complacent. The threat of the virus to people in Kirklees is still high and we all need to be cautious in the coming weeks.

Vaccination centre at the John Smith’s Stadium

“Our infections rates have increased in the last week which, during a time of lockdown, is a concern. Around 20 people are still dying every week in local hospitals and NHS services remain under pressure.

“We need to keep the virus under control and follow the roadmap as safely as we possibly can. It’s only with everyone’s joint effort we can do that.

“The rollout of the vaccine is of course a key part of this, and I’m delighted that more than 100,000 Kirklees residents have now received at least their first dose.

“With hospitalisations falling I believe we are starting to see early signs of the vaccine’s impact. It’s thanks to the hard work of the amazing health staff and volunteers that we’ve made such a strong start as well as the fantastic take up from local residents.

“We can’t rely on the vaccine alone right now. The best way you can help is simple: just stay at home as much as possible until restrictions can ease.

“When you need to leave home remember social distance, wash your hands and wear a face covering. If you do this, you’re playing your part. Also remember to let plenty of fresh air into the room you’re in – this can significantly reduce the risk of infection. If you do this, you’re playing your part. 

“We know the last year has been incredibly tough and it continues to be. But we now have a route out of the restrictions. It’s now everyone’s job to get Kirklees through this roadmap as safely as we can. Thank you for playing your part.”

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