Almost 7,000 people tested positive for Omicron in Kirklees last week and the council’s public health director has urged people to get vaccinated or have a booster as soon as possible.
Kirklees Council says the Omicron variant now accounts for almost all Covid-19 cases in the district as positive tests soared by 94% in a week.
At the same time, admissions to local hospitals have risen to 68, an increase of 32 over the previous week. Despite unprecedented numbers of infections, deaths relating to Covid-19 remain relatively low with six deaths in the past seven days.
Director of public health Rachel Spencer-Henshall said: “As we expected, Omicron has spread quickly through our community over the past few weeks.
“We now have more infections in Kirklees than at any other time in the pandemic. But this week’s data shows how effective the vaccines and boosters are at saving lives.
“Without high levels of vaccination, we would be looking at very different numbers of hospitalisations and deaths in Kirklees.
“It’s not too late to book your booster if you haven’t had one yet. And it’s not too late to book your first or second jab either. Just log on to the NHS website or call 119 to make your appointment. Or have a look at the council’s website to find details of local walk-in clinics where you won’t need to book.
“Despite the clear effectiveness of the vaccines, our health services are under immense pressure. Not only are they facing the kind of challenges you would expect in winter, but they are also caring for people with Omicron at the same time as dealing with staff shortages caused by the variant.
“It’s an extremely challenging time for our NHS colleagues and I want to thank them for their incredible efforts.
“The best thing you can do to support our health service is to get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines are highly effective at protecting us from serious illness and needing hospital treatment.
“At a time when so many NHS staff are isolating due to Covid-19, you can play your part in protecting the NHS by booking your jab today.
“Getting tested regularly, wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces and ventilating when mixing indoors are as important as ever in slowing the spread of this variant.”
Visit a vaccine walk-in clinic, you can see all the walk-in clinics taking place across Kirklees on the NHS site finder.
You can book your first, second or booster vaccination by visiting the NHS national booking system.
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.