I’m contacting you with an important update on Covid-19 in Kirklees and how we can all enjoy Christmas safely this year.
The Omicron variant is already spreading across the country. We have a small number of cases in Kirklees now, but I expect many more in the next few days and weeks. As Christmas approaches, I’m asking residents across Kirklees to help get prepared and protected for the weeks ahead.
Book your booster today
The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our NHS from this new wave is to get a booster jab. If you’re over 18, and it’s been more than two months since your second vaccination, there’s a booster vaccination available for you to book right now.
There are three easy ways you can book your booster:
Around 150,000 people in our area have already had their booster jab. But we need more Kirklees people to come forward to give us all the protection we need. Please don’t put it off until the New Year. Our amazing NHS staff, council colleagues, partner organisations and volunteers will be working flat out over Christmas to make sure every adult in Kirklees can get a booster before the end of the year. I hope we can do them proud by stepping up to get protected.
If you haven’t had your first or second dose yet, it’s not too late. Call 119 or visit the NHS website to find out how you can book your appointment. And if you’re pregnant, it’s especially important you come forward to get your vaccination. We are seeing more evidence about the complications Covid-19 can cause during pregnancy. Please make sure you’re vaccinated.
Regular tests are an effective way of making sure you don’t pass on the virus without knowing over the Christmas period. If you’re seeing family and friends over the next couple of weeks, make sure you do a test before you meet up. Getting tested at home is quick and easy and will give you more confidence to enjoy the festivities.
Free lateral flow tests are available to book online, pick up from our testing centres or in local pharmacies. You can find out more about how to get your packs of tests on the council’s rapid lateral flow testing web page.
If you begin to show any symptoms of Covid-19, please make sure you isolate straight away and book a PCR test as soon as possible. You can book a test at a centre near you by visiting the government’s website.
Enjoying Winter Safely
Getting boosted and tested are great ways of staying safe this Christmas. But there are so many other simple things we can do to reduce our risk. Remember to wear a face covering if you’re in an indoor crowded place. Keep rooms well ventilated if you’re meeting people. Regular hand washing, giving people space and meeting up outdoors can also reduce the spread. They are small things, but they make a big difference.
As we approach the end of the year, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has played their part in keeping our communities safe this year. For the last few weeks, Kirklees has had some of the lowest rates of Covid-19 infections in the whole country. That’s down to our residents, businesses and community organisations who have looked out for each other from the very start of the pandemic. Thank you.
I know that the news about the new variant will worry many of you. But my message this year is different from last year. Vaccines, testing and treatments give us so much more confidence about the future. We still have some big challenges ahead of us, but I really believe we can look forward to a better 2022.
I wish you, your family and your community a very happy and safe Christmas.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Director of Public Health