No new restrictions have been imposed on Leeds by the government today, but the city could face further limits this time next week if the number of infections continues to rise.
People are being urged to do everything they can to help stop the spread of the virus as the city remains in enhanced support and will be reconsidered for stricter rules this time next week.
Rates in Leeds now stand at 78.3 per 100,000 people, with 7.1% of those testing proving positive, as concerted efforts to bring the spread of infection down are being intensified across the city.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We are at a crucial point and we need everyone to get behind the mammoth effort we’ve been making as a city to help slow these alarming rates and keep us all safe. This means following the guidelines, observing the new rule of six and keeping safety at the front of our minds at all times.
“Concerted efforts have been increasingly stepped up across the city to tackle the spread of the virus. There have been big pushes on enforcement, getting information to people and making sure the right support is in place involving partners across every sector, public, private and voluntary and innumerable people determined to keep Leeds safe. But we cannot do this without everyone joining in.”
Victoria Eaton, director of public health for Leeds, added: “I cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to play their part. We can only stop further spread of the virus if everyone knows their responsibilities and is supported to reduce their contacts. So many people are doing what they can.
“We need everyone following the rules and paying particular attention to the new rule of six.
“I would also urge people to remember the importance of personal hygiene and safe behaviour in helping control the virus, in particular with handwashing and social distancing.”
This week has seen a big focus in Leeds on enforcement and awareness-raising with the hospitality industry, with a multi-agency operation taking place in Headingley with the support of the trade. It is planned to roll this out in other areas across the city. Work has also been happening to promote the use of the QR code to support the launch of the new test and trace app later this month.
Efforts to resettle children back in schools have continued and around 70,000 students joining the city’s universities this week are receiving a joint letter welcoming them and reminding them of their responsibilities around safe distancing and not hosting house parties.
Over 1,000 referrals a week are being managed by adult social care teams, who are working with the third sector to support people who are shielding and with NHS colleagues to ensure people have a safe discharge from hospital, where possible back to their own home. Extensive work is taking place in supporting 1,873 people in care homes and 5,850 people in the community.
Localised efforts on testing, tracing, door knocking, infection prevention and control are happening in areas across the city and local authority teams will continue to support police enforcement activity where needed, helping to ensure compliance with the rule of six.
General advice continues to be:
- Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- Keep a safe distance wherever you can
- Cover your face in enclosed spaces
- Stick to the new national rule of six and try to limit contact wherever possible
- Isolate when you need to/are advised to e.g. after a holiday abroad, contact with someone with the virus, contacted by test and trace, in a bubble in education with a positive case – and draw on community support where needed.