Residents in Leeds are being reassured about the steps being taken to address a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 among the city’s young people.
The latest data indicates cases of the virus have been consistently increasing over the past week and, while hospitalisations and deaths remain low, cases among unvaccinated age groups have risen. The city’s current COVID rates show cases at 82.2 per 100,000. Positivity is stands at 3.4 per cent, with cases showing a particular increase among 17–18 olds, who have yet to receive a vaccine. Over the past seven days, the city’s overall case rate has also risen by 81 per cent.
The rise in cases is consistent with other cities, where recent changes to restrictions have meant more social contact and where the Delta COVID variant, which is considerably more transmissible, has become dominant. As a result, cases are expected to continue to rise over the coming weeks. Leeds City Council has been responding quickly, working closely with local and national health partners to ensure the city’s vaccine supply is targeted where it will have the greatest impact and to mobilise a swift response to any clusters or outbreaks.
It is hoped this will help break any chain of infection and make sure cases among unvaccinated people can be effectively treated, tracked and isolated. The council and partners are also working to ensure vaccine supply chains remain strong and is seeking discussions with the government to ensure there continues to be sufficient quantities of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to meet the needs of younger people.
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“With restrictions changing and more people getting out and enjoying Leeds coupled with the increased prominence of the Delta variant, we have inevitably seen a rise in cases over these past few weeks.
“What remains key is that we are able to stay ahead of that spread and to make sure people in Leeds of all ages stay safe and informed. We are confident that locally, we have a robust and resilient network of partners, all working together to respond quickly and efficiently to this rise in cases among young people and to keep on top of any clusters.
“A good supply of vaccine is key to all of this, so we are constantly pushing to ensure our supply levels remain strong and meet our needs locally. We need the national vaccine response to continue to match the level of care and diligence we have here in Leeds.”
Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles said:
“We’re immensely proud of the superb work that has taken place across the city to get vaccines out into our communities and to encourage as many people as possible to get their jab.
“The vaccine represents our best chance of getting through this pandemic together and we’d continue to encourage everyone to book and attend their vaccine appointment when called and to continue doing all they can to keep themselves, each other and the city safe.”
People in Leeds can also continue playing their part in keeping virus figures down by following the guidance in each individual setting and remembering:
- Contact outdoors is much safer as it this reduces the risk of breathing in infected particles and disperses the virus more easily.
- Continue to wear face coverings when required and maintain social distancing whenever you’re out.
- Get a test and isolate if needed from the community testing sites around the city. Find out where to get a test at: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Get a vaccine when called and continue to follow the rules even if you’ve had the vaccine.
Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s director of Public Health said:
“The rise in cases in Leeds is consistent with other cities where Delta cases have risen steeply and the fact that hospitalisations and deaths remain low is an encouraging sign that the vaccine is doing its job. “However, we must remember that any rise in cases carries with it and increased risk among those who are vulnerable or who have not been vaccinated.
“It is our shared responsibility to do what we can to keep those who are at risk safe and to continue to act with caution and care as we negotiate another precarious stage in our fight against the virus and this highly infectious strain. We do expect case numbers to continue to rise over the coming days and weeks, and are doing everything we can across the city to keep rates down and ask for everyone’s support in this.”
For full details of current COVID-19 restrictions can be found at: www.gov.uk
For the latest on Leeds City Council services, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk