Rate of Covid cases in Wakefield drops to lowest point since October - but health chiefs warn that hospital admissions remain high
The rate of cases of Covid-19 in Wakefield has fallen to its lowest point in more than five months.
Data from Public Health England reveals that the current 7-day case rate in the Wakefield district currently stands at 136.1 per 100,000, down from 303 per 100,000 at the start of the year.
It is the lowest rate of cases recorded in the district since early October, though still remains far above the national average of 84.4 per 100,000.
Anna Hartley, Wakefield's director of public health, has previously said she believes the high rate of cases was linked to the high number of manufacturing jobs in the district.
But, speaking earlier this week, she warned that hospital admissions in the district still remain high, and urged people to continue following government guidance around working from home and social distancing.
She said: "Rates and hospital admissions unfortunately still remain stubbornly high and sadly, there were also another 19 deaths from Covid-19 last week. These 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 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."
A total of 23,019 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the district to date, and at least 728 people have died within 28 days of a positive test.
And at least 989 people have died after testing positive for the virus while in the care of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals.
On Monday, the Trust confirmed it was caring for 148 Covid patients.
Cllr 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 are continuing to see a slow and steady drop in rates week on week, cases are still very high and not coming down as quickly as we would like.
"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."
NHS figures also reveal that more than 107,000 people in the district have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.