Number of new cases of Covid-19 in Wakefield fall sharply after warnings that local lockdown could be imminent
The number of new cases of Covid-19 has fallen sharply in the past seven days, after it was revealed that Wakefield was ‘on the verge’ of entering a local lockdown.
Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery last week said she was “very concerned” about the rising rate of cases in the district.
But new data shows that the number of new cases has fallen by more than half since the period of concern.
Figures from Public Health England show that 71 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the seven days up to August 17, with a further 65 new cases confirmed the following week.
However, in the seven days up to August 31, the most recent period for which data is available, just 32 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Wakefield district.
A total of 2,122 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the district since March.
But Wakefield Council warned that the decrease in cases did not mean that social distancing guidelines should be ignored.
Coun Faith Heptinstall said: “Even though we have seen a small decrease in the number of people being infected and the infection rate seems to be stabilising, I urge residents not to become complacent and to continue to follow the important advice given.
“The district’s retail and hospitality offers remain open for business and while we want residents to enjoy their leisure time, we ask everyone to follow the measures that have been put in place to keep staff and customers safe.
“COVID-19 remains a real threat to us all and I urge everyone to continue taking action to reduce the spread of infection and stop any further measures being imposed on the district.”
It comes as local lockdown measures across West Yorkshire begin to ease, after a month of strict restrictions.
Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees entered local lockdowns on July 30, after a rise in new cases.
Some areas have now been released from these stricter restrictions, meaning people can once again mix in private homes and gardens. However, some areas, including Batley and Dewsbury, remain in lockdown.
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health for the Wakefield district, said: “The small decrease suggests that the infection rate seems to be stabilising but we need it to be sustained for longer to be confident it’s a trend and that’s why it’s more important than ever that we continue to do all we can to make sure this continues.
“We’re seeing a trend of mild symptoms among those testing positive, so I would urge people not to ignore any symptoms you might have, as you could unwittingly be spreading the virus to others.“Please act quickly, isolate and get tested as quickly as possible if you have any symptoms, however mild and remember that you can make a massive impact on your own health and the health of family and friends if you keep following five simple rules:
"Wear a face covering in any enclosed public space, if you can; If you have underlying health issues or are aged 70+, avoid areas where you can’t adhere to 2m social distancing; Avoid any hugging or close contact with anyone outside your household; Avoid car sharing with anyone outside of your household, if you can; Maintain regular handwashing.”