Council publishes latest COVID-19 data for the district
Wakefield Council has published the latest COVID-19 data for the district to keep residents up to date.
The figures show that for the latest set of weekly data (between 23 and 29 December) Wakefield's positive case rate has increased from the previous week – from 176.6 to 217.3 positive cases (per 100,000 population).
Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: "The infection rate in the district is unfortunately starting to increase and so it is absolutely crucial for everyone to act now and follow the important guidance and restrictions currently in place.
"We absolutely must avoid the infection rate increasing rapidly, if we don't, we will see more hospital admissions and our local NHS services risk being overwhelmed, and inevitably, and sadly, more lives will be lost."
There are currently 181 COVID-19 patients being cared for by The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, compared to 160 the previous week (29 December).
Jo Webster, Chief Officer at NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Health services across Wakefield continue to be under significant pressure. You can help your local NHS by following the guidance, isolating immediately if you have symptoms, and choosing the right local service if you or your family 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. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By choosing the right service in Wakefield you will get the right treatment in the most appropriate place and avoid an unnecessarily long wait to be seen. You will also be ensuring that local services can operate as effectively as possible and are available for the most critically ill people when they need them."
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health for the Wakefield district, said: "We have started to see an increase in cases across the district and sadly there were 17 deaths from Covid-19 last week. These are all incalculable losses to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have died.
"We are aware that the new variant is already spreading rapidly in other areas of the country and so we must all take immediate action to protect ourselves and others from the very real threat of COVID-19. Although we understand the new strain does not affect people differently, it is spreading at a much faster rate which will severely impact local health services if we don't do all we can to limit the spread.
"One of the most important actions people must take is to self-isolate if they have tested positive, have been confirmed as a contact of someone who has tested positive or are in the same household. You must also isolate if you have symptoms and are awaiting a test or results. If you do this, you will save lives."
Wakefield Council is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation across the district with effective monitoring to map relevant data and spot trends, which acts as an early warning system.
Working with partners, Wakefield Council has been actively supporting the businesses and communities affected by the previous outbreaks to limit any spread, as well as working closely with partners and local communities to try and ensure everyone knows the symptoms and how to access testing.
A local testing offer for COVID-19 has opened in Wakefield, to work alongside and to enhance the national programme.
Residents in the district who suspect they have symptoms of the virus can now access tests via a home delivery service but people are urged to try the national system first.
The local testing service is available from Monday to Friday and bookings for appointments can be made at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497.
Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.
Anna Hartley added: "Please act now - isolate and get tested if you have any symptoms. If you do not have any of the symptoms of coronavirus - of a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of taste or smell - please do not get a test as we need to make sure tests are readily available for those who really need them."
The dashboard published today (Monday 4 January) shows the available data up to 29 December.
The dashboard and briefing can be found at http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information/covid-19-weekly-data