The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees has risen by 17% in the last seven days as Kirklees Council launches a new campaign to encourage residents to “Enjoy Winter Safely.”

The council’s campaign gives local people critical advice on staying safe as Covid infection rates in the borough remain high.

There were 522 people per 100,000 testing positive for Covid-19, well above the national average of 454.5 people per 100,000.

There were four deaths in local hospitals related to Covid-19, though hospital admissions reduced from 58 people the previous week to 47 this week.

Launching the campaign, the council’s director of public health Rachel Spencer-Henshall outlined “three simple steps” for residents to keep safe this winter.

  • Getting a booster jab when it’s your turn.
  • Meeting outdoors as much as possible (and ventilating well while indoors).
  • Getting tested regularly.

Getting your booster jab is the best way to keep safe this winter. Anyone over the age of 50 (who had their second jab more than six months ago) can now use the national booking system to arrange their booster jab. It’s the best way to maximise protection this winter. Just go to the NHS website.

Also, anyone in Kirklees aged 12-15 who hasn’t already had their vaccination will now be able to visit a walk-in clinic to get theirs from this week.

Vaccinations for school-age young people had previously been confined to schools. For 12-15 year olds who wish to get their jab, parents can book appointments for their children using the NHS National Booking Service

You can read more information on vaccinations on Kirklees Council’s website

Ms Spencer-Henshall said: “We always knew that the winter months would carry a greater risk where Covid-19 is concerned. So now is the time for all of us to think about how we can minimise the risk to ourselves and each other.

Getting your booster jab is the best way to keep safe this winter. That’s why I’m really pleased that anyone over 50 who had their last jab more than six months ago can now visit the NHS website and book their booster.

“If you haven’t had your first or second jabs yet, it’s definitely not too late to get protected this winter. Just call 119 or go online to book your appointment.

“There are two other ways I’m urging residents to keep themselves safe this winter. If you’re meeting people who don’t live with you, keeping doors and windows open is a good way to stay safe indoors and socialising outdoors if possible is even better.

“Getting tested regularly is another way to stop the spread of the virus during the winter months. You can order free tests on the NHS website or pick them up from council collection points. If you have symptoms, you should book a test straight away.

“It’s great that this winter and Christmas we’re able to enjoy ourselves and celebrate in a much more normal way, with restrictions lifted and the vaccine offering more protection.

“We just need to remember that the virus is spreading at a fast rate and we all need to make decisions that keep ourselves and others as safe as possible. Together, we can Enjoy Winter Safely.”

Over the next few weeks, Kirklees Council will be doing more to help people, businesses and local organisations across Kirklees to stay safe through the Enjoy Winter Safely campaign. Residents will also notice the council’s advice on staying safe in local town and village centres.