The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees has fallen by 1.2% in the last week but remains amongst the highest in the country.

The vaccine rollout continues to be a success with the number of people in local hospitals with the virus continuing to drop and no deaths in the last week.

Some 212,000 people in Kirklees have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 123,000 of those have had their second. Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, deaths and hospitalisations have been steadily falling and are remaining at a much lower level.

There were no deaths in local hospitals related to Covid-19, down from one last week. The number of people being treated with the virus in those hospitals is seven, down from 11 last week.

With 55 people per 100,000 in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s infection rate has dropped by 1.2% since last week. The national average is 22 people per 100,000.

There were 242 new confirmed positive cases in the last week in Kirklees, a slight decrease from last week when there were 243.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “We are showing progress, which is great news, but Kirklees’ infection rate is still one of the highest in the country and it has to come down further and faster than it currently is.

“The number of people in local hospitals has dropped significantly alongside the rollout of the vaccine and remains at a low level and I’m really pleased to say there were no deaths from Covid-19 in the last week.

“We are heading in the right direction and there’s so much to look forward to as we move out of restrictions in line with the national roadmap out of lockdown.

“However, we absolutely have to remember that this pandemic is not over. Kirklees’ infection rate is one of the highest in England and, at its current level, presents a risk.

“As more and more restrictions are lifted, we have to make sure our infection rate does not increase and lead to more people being admitted to hospital or losing their lives to Covid-19.

“We’re at a crucial point in the pandemic, and we all have a really important role to play in getting Kirklees through the roadmap out of lockdown safely.

“There are three things I’m asking everyone to do over the next few weeks. Keep doing the basics, stay safe outdoors and get vaccinated.

The Chadwick Lawrence concourse at the John Smith’s Stadium has become a vaccination hub

“Keep doing the basics means; continue to wash your hands well and often, wear a face covering and make sure you’re social distancing when you’re out.

“Increasing ventilation when you are indoors with people you do not live with is important too. Getting tested regularly, or if you have symptoms, is another important way to keep our community safe.

“It’s safer outdoors – we can now enjoy more freedoms, including meeting people outside our household. There’s much less chance of passing on the virus when you’re outside but please remember to stick to the public health advice.

“When it’s your turn, please take the vaccine – if you’re 38 or over, you can book your appointment right now. The vaccine is safe, effective and protects both you, your friends and family and your community. Over 300,000 vaccinations have now been administered in Kirklees and the programme is successfully bringing down the number of people needing hospital treatment.

“The vaccination programme benefits all age groups and it’s important for us all to take it when it’s our turn. It doesn’t matter how young or heathy you are, Covid-19 still presents a risk and the vaccine protects us all. This is our main route back to normality.

“By doing these three things, together we can bring our infection rate down, ease pressure on our health services and finally get our lives back to normal. Thank you for playing your part.”