Kirklees Council’s public health chief has spoken out after the borough’s coronavirus infection rate dipped.
Concern has been growing Kirklees was on the path to a local lockdown after new ‘Pillar 2’ data from test centres and swabs sent by post showed it was in the top ten highest Covid-19 infection rates in the country.
Until yesterday only Pillar 1 data from hospital testing had been made public.
But just 24 hours on, updated Public Health England data has revealed a significant drop in infection rates over the past week.
Public Health England said the “increase in detections” in Yorkshire in recent weeks had “reversed” after a number of other areas also saw big falls in positive cases.
Figures released yesterday afternoon show the borough has seen a 13.5 per cent drop in cases in the week up to last Tuesday.
While it has gone up to sixth worst area in the country, the infection levels have dropped from 30.3 cases per 100,000 people to a figure of 26.2.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “All local authorities will have seen an increase in positive tests being reported over the past 24 hours due to the government releasing more data.
“We’ve been calling for this data for some time as it will help us target activity to reduce transmission, bringing infection rates down even further.
“According to these figures, for Kirklees, our infection rate is less than a fifth of Leicester’s and is dropping.
“We have been quick to contain workplace outbreaks over the past few weeks which inevitably means many more tests being carried out. This could account for the additional positive tests in Kirklees than in some other authorities.
“It is absolutely right that we have advised for whole work forces to be tested during an outbreak. That is the best way to contain the virus even if, in the short term, it means a higher number of positive tests for people who otherwise didn’t have symptoms or wouldn’t have sought a test.
“The best way we can continue to keep the numbers down is for everyone to keep following the guidance on hand washing and social distancing.
“The picture on data is complicated as there are several sources and it is currently being interpreted in different ways.
“In Kirklees, we are analysing everything that’s been released and we will give a transparent and ongoing picture to residents as soon as we can.”