The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees has jumped by 56% in the last week, well above the national average. The number of deaths due to the virus have seen a reduction and hospital admissions have also decreased this week.
In Kirklees 444 people per 100,000 in Kirklees tested positive for Covid. The national average is 354.2 people per 100,000.
The biggest increase, however, is among young people aged 10-19 where the number of cases in Kirklees is up by 134%, linked to a return to schools, colleges and higher education. The hotspot areas in Kirklees for Covid cases this week are Holme Valley North and Mirfield.
There were five more deaths in local hospitals related to Covid-19 over the last seven days. Hospital admissions have reduced, with 39 people admitted to local hospitals in the last week, down from 40 the previous week.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, urged caution particularly with the change of season and onset of colder weather this week.
“My biggest fear is that the weather, by default, makes people stay indoors, close windows and stay together in a way they wouldn’t do when we have nice weather outside.
“People have to carry out their own personal risk assessment but fresh air is always a positive thing. Clearly wearing a face-covering is a personal choice but washing your hands and giving good ventilation are all things we can do going into winter.”
Ms Spencer Henshall said the 134% increase in cases among young people was “definitely connected with children mixing more either in or around school.”
She added: “The vaccine rollout is having a really positive impact and is absolutely the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
“By taking both the first and second doses of the vaccine, you’re protecting yourself and will also reduce your chances of passing Covid-19 on to someone who could become severely ill.
“Just because you’re young and healthy, there’s no guarantee Covid-19 won’t significantly impact your health and we are still seeing hospital admissions rise amongst younger age groups. The best way to protect yourself, whatever your age, is to take the vaccine.
“Regular rapid lateral flow testing is so important to help stop the spread of the virus, even if you have been vaccinated. Rapid lateral flow testing identifies those who do not have Covid symptoms but may have the virus and be spreading it unknowingly.
Are walk-in vaccination clinics still available?
There are a number of walk-in vaccination clinics available across Kirklees and you can use the new NHS site finder to find your nearest walk-in clinic, including those vaccinating over 16s.
Alternatively, anyone over the age of 16 can use the national booking system to book a vaccine appointment.
Read about how you can get a rapid lateral flow test twice a week if you don’t have symptoms.
What do you do if you have symptoms?
If you do have symptoms get a PCR test and isolate immediately. The easiest way to get a PCR test at your nearest available testing centre is to book online. Find out more about PCR testing, how to book and what support is available for those who need to isolate.