Latest figures show coronavirus is not on the rise in Wakefield

02/07/2020, PR-9457A

​A number of news articles are reporting that the Wakefield district has a higher number of coronavirus cases than other areas and may be at risk of having a local lock-down imposed.

The reports were based on a very small percentage of testing data available in the public domain at the time and when used in isolation, provide a misleading view.

In response to this, Anna Hartley, Wakefield’s Director of Public Health, said: “I would like to reassure residents that coronavirus is not on the rise in the Wakefield district.

“Recent reports are based on Pillar 1 testing, which is done in NHS labs and hospitals and only represents a fraction of the tests undertaken. The majority of testing is done through Pillar 2, often referred to as community testing.

“Public Health England have now published the weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, which includes a combined Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 positive case rate by Local Authority. The latest data is for 22 to 28 June and shows that Wakefield had a rate of 9 positive cases per 100,000 population. When compared to other similar areas this rate is relatively low. For example, Barnsley had a rate of 35.1, Doncaster a rate of 21.3 and Rotherham a rate of 26.1. Leicester has a rate of 141.3 per 100,000.

“If you combine the data together from all tests, Wakefield’s infection rate is lower than the Yorkshire and Humber average and only very slightly higher than the England average.

“Of course, this picture changes constantly, which is why it is essential that residents remain vigilant, stick to social distancing guidelines, continue to wash their hands regularly, wear a face covering whenever social distancing cannot be observed outside the home, get tested and self-isolate if displaying symptoms and continue to help control the spread of the virus.”

Public Health England’s figures are available here.

Find out more about getting tested at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested