Latest Covid figures for Wakefield and the Five Towns as 'promising but small' drop in case rates reported
People in Wakefield and the Five Towns are being urged to continue following lockdown rules, after a 'very small drop' in coronavirus case rates was recorded.
According to the latest figures from Public Health England, the rate of cases of Covid-19 in the Wakefield district in the seven days to Tuesday, March 9 fell to 128.9 per 100,000, down from 135.8 per 100,000 the previous week.
This figure is down from more than 268 per 100,000 at the start of the year.
Wakefield Council said that, while the decrease was a step in the right direction, it was important that people did not become complacent about following rules around social distancing and staying home.
Councillor Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Thanks to all the hard work of people across the district to stay at home as much as possible.
"Although we have seen another drop in rates this week, it is a very small drop, which means cases are still very high and we must not become complacent – every day at home is making a real difference.
“The Government roadmap out of lockdown is a great boost to all of us but the reality is our rates still remain high and so it is absolutely crucial we all keep going and continue to follow the important guidance and restrictions currently in place.
“It is vital that we all continue to play our part and drive the infection rate down. Although the number of hospital admissions has also dropped in recent weeks, we must continue to do all we can to stop them rising again.”
A total of 23,725 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the district to date, and 743 people have died after testing positive for the virus.
And at least 1,017 people have died while in the care of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, though this includes those being cared for at the Trust's Dewsbury site.
There are currently 78 Covid-19 patients being cared for by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, compared to 120 the previous week.
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health for the Wakefield district, said: “It is promising that cases are continuing to decrease but there were sadly 14 Covid-19 related deaths in local hospitals in the last week.
"This is a drop from 16 the previous week, but it is still 14 too many, and are all incalculable losses to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have died.
“This is why we must not become complacent and although there is now light at the end of the tunnel we must all continue to take immediate action to protect ourselves and others from the very real threat of Covid-19, even if you have had your vaccine, and continue to stay at home.
"The less that people mix, the less chance the virus has of mutating and becoming resistant to the vaccine. This is so vitally important. So please keep going and stay at home as much as possible. By working together we can slow the spread and save lives.”
Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms is urged to self-isolate immediately and get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.
Residents who are a ‘critical worker’ or otherwise have to leave the house to go to work can now access lateral flow testing at the Market Hall in Wakefield, Holywell Lane Centre, Castleford and Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Centre, Kinsley.
Access to all three sites will be by appointment only. To book an appointment, please visit https://wakefieldlft.eventbrite.co.uk. There is currently no option for telephone appointments.
If you can work from home, you should continue to do so and will not need to access asymptomatic testing.
Those who have symptoms of Covid-19 should not seek a lateral flow test. Instead they must get tested, either through the local home delivery service, or using the national drive-in sites.
Jo Webster, Chief Officer at NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is really important that we still continue to follow the guidance, isolate immediately if you develop symptoms and choose the right local service if you need healthcare.
"If you’re not sure which service to use and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, call NHS111 or visit NHS online. NHS111 will make sure you get the care you need, in the most appropriate place for your needs.
"For the latest advice on COVID-19 and details about the vaccination programme, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19."