COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in Leeds since the start of the pandemic, the latest figures show.
The city reached the tragic milestone yesterday when 10 new deaths were registered, taking the overall number of COVID-related deaths registered in Leeds to 1,003.
The news comes as a stark reminder of the devastating human cost of the pandemic while also placing fresh emphasis on the need to follow the latest guidance and participate in local contact tracing if the city is to maintain its recent positive progress.
A consistent downward trend in the city’s infection rates over the past few weeks has continued, with Leeds having 200.8 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 9.6% as of Monday. Less than a month ago (November 3) the infection rate stood at 422.9 cases per 100,000, with a positivity rate of 16.6%.
Non-essential shops are also set to open on December 2nd when Leeds moves into national Tier 3 restrictions, and a new contact tracing system for Leeds launched this week, bringing more local insight and support to the fight to control the spread of the virus.
The council has also expressed an interest in joining the government’s programme of large community testing for Tier 3 areas while working closely with health colleagues and others across the city to make preparations for future vaccination programmes.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This tragic and sobering milestone demonstrates that the virus continues to take a profound toll on the lives of residents and families in Leeds, a sad fact which should be foremost in all of our minds when we think about our actions in the coming weeks.
“There’s no question that we have seen some real, tangible progress over these past few weeks, both in terms of our infection rates in Leeds and the support we have in place for local businesses and contact tracing. Maintaining this progress will give us a real chance of moving to less severe Tier 2 restrictions when tiers are reviewed on December 16.
“It is imperative that we do not squander the positive steps we have made and put further lives in jeopardy by failing to do everything in our individual and collective power to protect ourselves and each other.”
Leeds will move into the government’s Tier 3 restrictions details of the restrictions can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know
Everyone in Leeds can help to control the spread of COVID-19 by observing the latest restrictions and following the key guidelines:
- Make space and stay 2m away from people you do not live with.
- Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- Cover your face in enclosed spaces.
- Isolate when you need to/are advised to, and get a test if you have symptoms.
Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “This is a watershed moment for Leeds, when we will be moving from one phase of controlling the spread of the virus to another.
“What we must remember is that, while the restrictions may be changing, the nature of the virus has not - it remains what is has always been, a highly contagious and potentially deadly condition which we must do absolutely all we can to contain.”
Further details on the support available for those affected by COVID-19 in Leeds can be found at: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus