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Source: City of Wakefield

​Everyone must act now if we are to protect people’s lives – that’s the stark message from the Leader of Wakefield Council following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases in the district.

Today, the Government is expected to add the Wakefield district as an ‘area of concern’ on its watchlist of those with high rates of infection.

The move comes following a serious rise in cases, which is anticipated to be in the region of 70 per 100,000 people testing positive this week, compared to last week when it was 37.4. 

​Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is crucial that everyone must act now and follow the important guidance in place. We all need to play our part to protect not only ourselves, but all of those around us, from this virus. If we don’t, the harsh reality is that it will affect others, causing more infections, more hospital admissions and inevitably and sadly more deaths.

“With such a serious increase in cases, tighter lockdown measures will soon be unavoidable unless we all continue play our part. So I urge everyone to please remember the simple steps of hand washing regularly, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and limiting our contact with those outside of our household.” 

Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health

​Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health for the Wakefield district, said: “The situation in the district has reached a pivotal point – we’ve seen a significant increase in cases and a rise in hospital admissions.

“We all must all take immediate action to protect ourselves and others from the very real threat of COVID-19. If we don’t, we will have much tougher restrictions imposed on our lives, just as we are seeing in neighbouring areas.

“We have stepped up our local community testing programme, increasing the number of daily tests the service can provide from 50 to 70, and drafting in extra staff and phone lines to deal with increased demand.

“If you have symptoms it is vital that you ‘act now’ – self-isolate and get tested. Please do not ignore any symptoms you might have, however mild they may be, as you could be unwittingly spreading the virus to others who are much more vulnerable and at risk of serious effects of the virus, and even death.

“”Please do not underestimate the positive impact you can make by following the key safety guidelines and these simple rules:

  • Wear a face covering, if you can, in any enclosed public space
  • Maintain social distancing, wherever possible
  • Avoid any hugging or close contact with anyone outside your household
  • Avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household, if you can
  • Maintain regular handwashing
  • Stick to six – no social gatherings of more than six people indoors or outdoors.”

This is the second time that the Wakefield district has been listed as an ‘area of concern,’ after it was put on the Government’s watchlist in mid-July until earlier this month.

Wakefield Council are now awaiting confirmation about whether any restrictions will be imposed following the increase in cases.

Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms – of a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell – is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.

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. Or email the person’s name and contact details to wakefield.covidtesting@nhs.net so the booking team can get in touch.

The local testing service will prioritise essential workers and school children in order to keep essential services running and support schools across the district to remain open.

Those without symptoms (asymptomatic) should not be seeking a test unless they have been advised to do so by a health professional, Public Health England or the Council’s public health teams – it could take a test away from someone who really needs it.

MIL OSI United Kingdom