A rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in parts of Leeds has prompted a call for communities to work together to help keep the city safe and prevent the virus spreading.
The latest data and monitoring has enabled the Leeds Outbreak Control Board to quickly identify clusters of cases in neighbourhoods within Kirkstall, Harehills and surrounding areas.
The city’s seven day rate has also been gradually increasing from 4.1 cases per 100,000 people early last week to 13.3 as of August 5 and restrictions are currently in place in some of the areas close to Leeds.
As part of the city’s detailed outbreak control planning, a series of targeted preventative steps are being taken in priority areas in an effort to stop further escalation of cases and to stay on top of community transmission.
Council and public health officials are also calling for people in these communities and across Leeds to continue to play their part in keeping themselves and others safe by following the latest advice and maintaining social distancing.
Mobile testing units have also been made available at Kirkstall and Fearnville leisure centres and people with symptoms can also book tests at other locations in Leeds.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and chair of the Leeds Outbreak Control Board, said: “There has been some excellent work across Leeds these past few months which, together with a tremendous sense of community spirit, has ensured we have stayed ahead of the virus.
“With some restrictions now being relaxed, it’s more important than ever that we keep doing everything we can collectively and individually to take care of ourselves, our communities and our city.
“Our outbreak planning has meant we’ve been able to identify these clusters early and intervene quickly, so it’s our hope that by working closely with people living in these areas, we can manage and contain these cases and prevent a wider outbreak.
“But we can’t do that alone and it’s absolutely imperative that residents play their part by following the latest advice, including avoiding gathering in large numbers, maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks when required, regularly washing their hands and by getting tested and isolating if they have symptoms.”
Some of the key actions being taken in communities where clusters have been identified include:
- Proactive work in the affected wards to offer additional support for families self-isolating.
- The council’s communities team promoting the walk-in testing site at Fearnville for residents with symptoms, also reinforcing messages about social distancing and support packages available.
- Social media messages targeting the affected areas, reinforcing social distancing/handwashing/self-isolating/get tested messages.
- Mobile testing units at Kirkstall Leisure Centre and Fearnville. People can also book a test at other venues via: nhs.uk/coronavirus
- Working with nurseries, care homes and places of worship to help promote important messages about testing and social distancing.
- More advice and guidance for large multi-generational households in community languages.
These measures will be continually monitored over the coming days and further steps may need to be considered in light of new data and information.