Hospitalisations due to Covid remains low in Calderdale say health chiefs

Although Delta variant cases of COVID-19 have greatly increased and is now the dominant form of the virus in Calderdale, hospitalisations remain low and there have been no outbreaks in care homes recently.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 6:00 pm

Director of Public Health, Deborah Harkins, told members of Calderdale Council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board that between June 7 and 12, a total of 263 residents had tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 75 per cent on the previous week.

“That’s a massive increase in cases compared to where we were a few weeks ago. The vast majority of cases now are the Delta variant, first discovered in India,” she said.

In Calderdale this had overtaken the Alpha variant, first discovered in Kent late last year, in terms of making up the majority of cases, around June 11.

Calderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

But the good news was that only a small number of people were being hospitalised – on June 16, the day before the meeting, the number of people in hospital who had tested positive for coronavirus was seven patents, including those from both Calderdale and Huddersfield.

The council’s Director of Adults Services and Wellbeing, Iain Baines, said there had been no outbreaks in care homes for some time.

He said full details had yet to follow national statements that vaccinations would be mandatory for care home staff but in Calderdale 82 per cent had had their first jab and 71 per cent their second – 80 per cent had been set as a clincially sufficient level and Calderdale was working towards that.

Mr Baines said his team would work with care homes over the issue.

In terms of residents, 94 per cent had had a first jab and 84 per cent their second – combined, residents’ and staff take up of the vaccine has been high, he said.

Ms Harkins had said the aim was to prevent infections and prevention work had been stepped up in Calderdale, ranging from extra testing centres to promotion support available for people who had to isolate, taking in financial and other support, and this was proving successful, said Ms Harkins.

A great deal of work was also continuing to promote the vaccination programme, making is as easy as possible for people to access it.

There had been a small number of outbreaks in schools and early years settings, inevitable when people were coming together, said Ms Harkins.

Coun Colin Hutchinson (Lab, Skircoat) said support for those self-isolating and contact tracing were crucial.

Ms Harkins said Public Health were awaiting the go-ahead from the Government to undertake all contact tracing but from this week (beginning June 21) the first step, contacting the contacts of someone who had tested positive would begin locally.