Calderdale Covid infection rates rise by more than 90 per cent as council looks to step up testing

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.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 2:06 pm

Infection rates in the borough 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 June 3 and 9.

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 July 19 shows that the increase in cases is a national issue.

Mobile testing unit in Todmorden
Mobile testing unit in Todmorden

Councillor 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 June 20.

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.

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.

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.”