The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees is up 50% on last week and is one of the highest in the country.

The rate is 108 people per 100,000 as compared with the national average of 23 people per 100,000.

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. There were none last week. There were 13 people admitted to those hospitals in that time, up from nine last week.

So far 237,000 local people have had their first dose of the vaccine and 153,000 of those have received their second.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “We’ve stepped up testing in key parts of Kirklees this week.

READ MORE: Latest guidance: Everyone in Kirklees urged to take two Covid-19 tests a week

“We’re doing that to identify and isolate positive cases and to learn more about variants that might be spreading. We are also working with the NHS to increase the speed of vaccinations as well as making sure everyone can get one when it’s their turn.

“Kirklees has had cases of the new variant first detected in India. Although it does not cause more serious illness, it does spread easier so it’s really important that we learn more about where it might be within our communities so we can better stop it.

“By taking these PCR tests, you’ll be helping the whole of Kirklees to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.

READ MORE: Four new vaccination centres in Kirklees

“We all need to continue to play our part so we can get Kirklees through the roadmap safely.”