People in Calderdale are being urged to keep doing all they can to stop the spread of COVID-19, as preventative efforts across the borough are stepped up due to a significant increase in cases.
Local infection rates have risen by more than 90% since last week, giving a current rate of 120 per 100,000 for people tested in the seven days between 3 and 9 June. The Delta variant (first identified in India) now makes up the majority of Calderdale cases, and intensive work is underway to manage the risk.
The Government’s decision to pause Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown until 19 July shows that the increase in cases is a national issue.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“As COVID-19 restrictions have gradually relaxed in recent months, we have seen an increase in the number of positive cases locally. This is what has happened in Calderdale following the easing of restrictions throughout the pandemic. On top of this, most local cases are now the Delta variant, which spreads more easily.
“Thankfully, the current rise in cases is not having a significant impact on hospital admissions at the moment, but it’s vital that we remain vigilant and act now to stop things getting worse.”
When a small cluster of Delta cases was found in Todmorden recently, preventative action was taken straight away to help reduce the spread and protect local people, including additional, asymptomatic PCR testing at Todmorden Sports Centre for everyone who lives, works and studies in the town. Following feedback from the community, an extra Mobile Testing Unit has now opened in Todmorden town centre at Rose Street, from 9am to 5.30pm until Sunday 20 June. Like the Sports Centre, this is a walk-up site for people without COVID-19 symptoms and there is no need to book.
Additional testing is also underway in the Park and Warley areas of Calderdale to help protect communities from increasing cases and from new strains of the virus that spread more easily. The details of all Mobile Testing Unit locations can be found on the Council’s website: www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus/managing/extra-testing. Further sites will be added in Calderdale where needed, and work is ongoing to engage with communities and distribute tests through a number of schools, workplaces and community venues.
Maximising uptake of both doses of the vaccine is essential to minimise harm from new variants. In partnership with the NHS, Calderdale’s local contact tracers are contacting and supporting people in priority groups that are at highest risk and have been offered a vaccine but haven’t yet taken it up.
Getting both doses of the vaccine is one of the five big things we can all do to help protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. With case rates on the rise, it’s even more important that everyone continues to do the following things:
- Keep our distance and limit mixing with people we don’t live with.
- Wear a face covering where necessary, unless medically exempt.
- Self-isolate if we test positive or are a contact of someone who has tested positive. A range of support is available to people self-isolating: www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus/help.
- Meet others outside where possible, and if not then let fresh air in.
- Book our vaccine when we are invited by the NHS.
Deborah Harkins, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“Keeping COVID-19 case rates as low as possible is important in preventing more variants developing and spreading. We all have a part to play in this. The joint effort in Calderdale has been incredible, and we must not drop our guard now, especially with summer events like the Euros – it’s important to enjoy them in ways that reduce the risk of spreading the virus by doing the five big things as we tackle the concerning new variants of COVID-19.”
For the latest updates on Council services following the Government’s announcement on Monday 14 June, please visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus/service-updates
Partnership work continues across Calderdale to help control COVID-19, such as engaging with and supporting communities, particularly in areas with high infection rates; increasing and improving access to testing; ensuring that those most at risk from COVID-19 are offered a vaccine; carrying out local contact tracing; supporting people to enable them to self-isolate; engaging with businesses and helping them to be COVID-secure; and enforcing COVID-19 restrictions where necessary.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: