Almost 200,000 people have now had their first vaccine in Kirklees and hospitals recorded no COVID related deaths last week. However our infection rate have risen and is among the highest in the country. As shops and pubs reopen, the message is to stay cautious.

75 people per 100,000 are testing positive for the virus in Kirklees over the last week compared to a national average of 28. The last seven days saw 330 new cases, a rise from 308 the previous week. At a time when infection rates need to be going down, Kirklees is heading in the wrong direction.

The good news is that the vaccination program continues to do well. 192,000 people have no had a first dose with 61,000 having had two. People over the age of 45 are now eligible to have the jab.

With Kirklees entering the next stage of the roadmap, beer gardens, libraries, outdoor activities, leisure centres, and self-contained holiday accommodation now open again. However rising numbers are a cause for concern.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “It’s really great to see restrictions lift this week and for more businesses and venues to be able to open again. We’ve been able to get to this point because of the fantastic efforts you are all going to, and the more than 192,000 Kirklees people who have now had at least their first vaccine dose.

“Our infection rate needs to drop further and fast because it’s still significantly above the national average and increased over the last week. Our infection rate is likely to be higher than many other areas because of the types of industries we have in Kirklees and the number of people leaving their home each day to work.

The local council is urging people to take the vaccine when it’s their turn and to keep to guidelines as restrictions ease.

“Taking the vaccine when it’s your turn is the best way we can save lives, keep pressure off the NHS and get our lives back to normality. It significantly protects you from Covid-19. The more people that take it, the bigger chance we have of beating Covid-19 for good,” she added.

“Another great way you can help reduce the spread of the virus in your community is by getting a rapid lateral flow test twice a week if you are not showing any symptoms. Asymptomatic testing helps us identify people who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly.

If you’re vulnerable and need support, please visit Kirklees Council’s website or call 0800 4561114.