Covid in Wakefield: 300 cases of Delta variant confirmed in district as government expected to delay June 21 lockdown easing
The rate of cases of Covid-19 in Wakefield has risen sharply, as more than 300 cases of the Delta variant are confirmed in the district.
According to Public Health England (PHE), the seven day rolling rate of infection in Wakefield and the Five Towns currently stands at 82.1 per 100,000 people, up from 46.8 per 100,000 on June 1.
It is the highest case rate reported in the district since April 8, and comes amid rising concern about the Delta variant of the virus.
Of the 449 new cases of the virus confirmed in the district since the start of the month, at least 308 have been identified as cases of the Delta variant, according to the latest data from PHE.
This is up from 22 cases of the variant the previous week.
The variant is considered dangerous as it is far more transmissible than the original virus, meaning it spreads more quickly and easily. It was first identified in India, and is now believed to account for more than 90 per cent of cases in the UK.
Neighbouring Kirklees has also reported high rates of the Delta variant, and has been subject to additional measures such as surge testing in place to help slow the spread of the virus.
It comes as the government is expected to announce that the easing of lockdown restrictions will not go ahead as planned on June 21.
Instead, the easing of social distancing and lockdown restrictions will be delayed by four weeks, amid concerns about rising case rates.
The decision has already been signed off by senior ministers and will be announced later today, according to the BBC.
Last week, Wakefield Council urged people not to "become complacent" about abiding by the restrictions, warning that it was "more important than ever" for people to protect themselves and others.
Outbreaks of the Delta variant were also confirmed at schools in Sandal and Hemsworth.