By Tony Earnshaw LDRS

Cases of Covid-19 in Kirklees have plummeted in recent weeks, which health chiefs have attributed to the effects of “national lockdown 2.0”.

And as the district gets ready for the Christmas break and a temporary five-day relaxation of restrictions from December 23-27, there has been a call to continue adhering to social distancing measures.

All wards in Kirklees continue to experience cases of coronavirus with a slightly greater concentration in the north of the borough.

But in the last week data shows Kirklees at its lowest level of infections since October taking it to a ranking of 28th in the country rather than a high point of fourth or fifth at the height of cases prior to the most recent national lockdown.

It means in terms of the county that Kirklees is now lower on the scale than Calderdale and Bradford but higher than Leeds and Wakefield.

Consultant in Public Health Emily Parry-Harries described Kirklees as being on a downward trajectory.

She said: “It’s generally looking like a much more positive picture. We are riding the crest of the wave of the impact of national lockdown 2.0.

“We are starting to see that downward trajectory speed up a little bit and we can only hope that as we move into Tier 3 and into some different restrictions being in place over the festive period that we continue to see that downward trajectory.”

Ms Parry-Harries also advised people to continue to observe social distancing measures and to not give in to the temptation to mingle with relatives over Christmas.

She said: “I don’t know if people will understand the cultural reference of Jurassic Park and the line in it where they said, ‘We were so busy wondering whether we could we forgot to wonder whether we should’.

“My position on visiting people over the Christmas period is just because you  can doesn’t mean you should. People can maintain that contact with their families but do it in a way that you don’t mix and you stay apart from other people.

“You absolutely should be doing because it’s that that’s working.”

In the last week there have been 75 hospital admissions in Kirklees, which is “significantly down” on the previous seven days.

Kirklees currently has 154 in-patients, 24% of whom are aged over 80.

There have been 921 cases of Covid-19 this week,  which is down 26% on the previous week.

Ms Parry-Harries, who was speaking at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel (Dec 10), said it was “incredibly important” that people remember to observe social distancing, the use of face coverings, the washing of hands and “don’t become complacent”.