Outbreak at care home in Kirklees led to 12% coronavirus infection rate increase

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An outbreak of positive coronavirus tests at a Kirklees care home led to a 12% increase in infection rates.

Kirklees Council said that the increase in Covid-19 infection rates over the past seven days was mainly due to an outbreak at a single care home.

Since being contained, the rates have dropped by 24 per cent, the council said.

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Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Last week week’s data shows a slight increase in our COVID-19 infection rates over seven days, which is mainly due to an outbreak at a care home that has now been contained.

A coronavirus outbreak at a West Yorkshire care home caused a surge in casesA coronavirus outbreak at a West Yorkshire care home caused a surge in cases
A coronavirus outbreak at a West Yorkshire care home caused a surge in cases

“Our rates had dropped by 24 per cent. However, last week there was an outbreak at a care home in North Kirklees, which resulted in a number of residents and staff testing positive.

“Our thoughts are with those that have been infected, who are being well cared for. We cannot reveal the name of the care home to protect the confidentiality of the people who live and work there, but their families are aware and this outbreak has been contained and poses very little risk to the general public.

“An encouraging sign is that we are no longer within the ten highest areas for positive infection rates. This is a credit to local people and the efforts you are all going to but please keep it up as our rates have increased and are still above the national average so we need to bring them down further.

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“We all have a part to play in doing this and the easiest and most effective way is to continue to social distance, wash hands regularly and get tested if you have symptoms. We’re now also urging people not to hold events that could attract a crowd of more than 30 people.

“The Government announced new restrictions for areas in the North of England, including Kirklees, on 30 July. Government announced on Friday 7 August that these restrictions will remain in place and they will review it again on 14 August.

“I know how difficult a sacrifice this is to make, and I’d like to thank you all for following the guidance and keeping each other safe. If we continue to do this together, we will see these restrictions lifted.”

The Government releases new data every week which tells us what the rates of positive coronavirus tests are for each area, including Kirklees.

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During the pandemic, 568.0 people per 100,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.

The data also tells us that 23.7 people per 100,000 residents tested positive in Kirklees in the past week. This is slightly higher than the rate of 21.2 last week, which was lower than the 28.0 the previous week.

The current national rate is 9.3. The current West Yorkshire average rate is 27.9.

Kirklees infection rates have increased by 12 per cent over the last week after dropping by 24 per cent the previous week.

How does Kirklees compare to others in the country?

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Rates have been above the national average every week since the local data has been released.

Why are the numbers higher in Kirklees than in other areas?

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: "Nobody yet knows exactly why COVID-19 is more prevalent in some places than others but we have begun an action plan to tackle any local spikes of infections.

"Initially, we targeted Ravensthorpe, Saville Town and Batley West, for extra support and have been focussing on people in the 20-40 years old age group.

"We’ve also been delivering additional support in Birkby and Fartown where we’ve also noticed spikes in infection rates. This will now also happen in Heckmondwike as we’ve seen a spike in cases there in the last week.

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"We will continue to analyse the data to learn more about spikes or trends in areas or within specific social groups across Kirklees and we will take targeted action to bring rates back down and save lives."

On 30 July, the government announced new restrictions for 4 million people in the North of England, including everyone in Kirklees. These restrictions are still in place.

The main change in the rules is about visiting people in their homes or gardens. The new restrictions mean:

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You cannot visit any other home or garden that isn’t your own.

You cannot have anyone visit your home or garden.

If you are part of a support bubble, you can continue to visit each other.

If you are going out (to a restaurant, pub or other indoor space) you must not go with anyone from outside your household. You cannot meet or interact indoors with people outside your household while you are out.

How can I keep the infection rate down?

We all have a role to play in doing this. The advice is the same for everyone, whatever age you are and wherever you live.

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Keep social distancing, wash your hands regularly and isolate and get tested if you have symptoms.

Please do not organise or attend an event that is likely to attract a crowd of more than 30 people.

Wearing a face covering is compulsory in shops and supermarkets. This is another easy way you can help. You may not know you are infectious. You may have no symptoms at all but that very same virus could be fatal for someone else.

When used correctly, wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets, helping to protect others.

Mobile testing units will now be available at:

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Batley – Wards Hill Car Park, Wellington Street, Batley, WF17 5HZ

Dewsbury – Cliffe Street Car Park, Sharp Street, Dewsbury, WF13 1QZ

Holmfirth – Car Park at Holmfirth Pool and Fitness Centre, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, HD9 3JL (from 10 August 2020)

Fartown Cricket Club, Spaines Road, Huddersfield, HD2 2RE

The units are available for anyone who thinks they have symptoms to get a test. These tests can be booked via the online national booking system or by ringing 119. You can also order a home test if you prefer.

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We are also working with the Government to set-up a number of local walk-in testing units in areas with consistently higher rates.

We’ve also written to all residents in Kirklees with the latest information on how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Why is it important to get tested?

It’s important for you to protect yourself from the virus, but it’s equally as important to protect other people.

Testing helps you stop the virus from spreading within our community. If we stop the virus from spreading, numbers of infections will go down and we will be able to get our freedoms back and keep our community safe.

The more we know about who has the virus, the more we can make sure it doesn’t spread through our community. It’s about protecting you, your family and your community.

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