Worrying new data shows that six of the country’s 10 hotspots worst affected by coronavirus are in Yorkshire.
Since Leicester was placed under a local lockdown, fears have grown in communities across the county which have experienced similarly high COVID-19 infection rates.
Bradford, Barnsley and Kirklees were all on high alert and according to the latest figures for the week ending June 28, which show the rate of new cases in each area, a number of places across the county are still struggling to shake off the virus.
Bradford is the second worst in the country and Yorkshire’s hotspot for coronavirus, followed by Barnsley in third with Kirklees in sixth.
Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster are also in the top 10 worst affected, according to the new data.
You can see the latest list of coronavirus hotspots here:
Yesterday concern was growing that Bradford, Kirklees and Barnsley were on the path to local lockdowns after new ‘Pillar 2’ data from test centres and swabs sent by post showed they had some of the highest covid-19 infection rates in the country.
Until yesterday only Pillar 1 data from hospital testing had been made public but thanks to the new data, fears over a local lockdown in places like Bradford are easing.
Data released by Public Health England this afternoon has now vindicated public health chiefs’ confidence, with four Yorkshire councils all showing significant drops in their rate of positive tests.
Public Health England said the “increase in detections” in Yorkshire in recent weeks had “reversed”.
Leicester’s rate has increased slightly.
Bradford is still the second worst area in the country but it has dropped from 69.4 cases per 100,000 population in the week to June 24 to a figure of 45.8 as of last Tuesday – a 34 per cent decrease.
Barnsley, which is third worst, Kirklees and Rotherham have also seen large falls in positive cases.
However, some Yorkshire councils have seen significant increases in infection rates, just days before coronavirus lockdown restrictions are greatly relaxed.
Sheffield and Doncaster have both shot up with 18 per cent and 212 per cent increases, respectively.
Sheffield saw 143 new positive cases recorded with Calderdale also seeing an increase.
Meanwhile, York had the lowest rate in the region with just four new cases giving a rate of 1.9.
Public health chiefs have said increased rates have been because of increased testing finding more cases.
Yesterday, Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchliffe said: “The number of people testing positive for the virus is still too high and we continue to work hard with all our partners to prevent infection spreading as no one wants a second lockdown.
“As we take more and more steps towards returning to a more normal life, it’s easy to believe that Covid-19 is less of a threat to our health and the health of our family and friends.
“This is simply not the case.”