BARNSLEY’S coronavirus rates have more than doubled in the last week – and health bosses have confirmed the Delta variant may be the reason for the rapid rise.
The variant is more transmissible and more than 310 residents in Barnsley have tested positive – though council bosses say that the increase may also be caused by the easing of restrictions as more people are mixing.
The town’s rate is 213.9 per 100,000 residents – a 179 per cent rise from the previous week – and it’s the first time that Barnsley’s coronavirus rate has risen above 100 since April 6.
The most hard-hit age demographic in the town is 15 to 19 year olds whose case rate is currently 632.3 per 100,000 people, closely followed by 20 to 24 year olds whose rate is 615.5.
There has been 21,289 cases in the town to date – and more than 1,000 of those came in June.
Carrie Abbott, service director public health and regulation, said: “Delta has been confirmed as the dominant strain nationally, and like many areas across the country, Barnsley has seen a recent rise in cases, following step three of the roadmap, which has led to more social interactions.
“We know that the Delta variant spreads more easily than the previous types of Covid-19 we’ve seen in England until now, so the basics of washing hands, wearing a face covering when advised, staying a safe distance apart from people who are not part of your household, and meeting outside rather than inside, are still the main ways that we can reduce the chances of being a contact for Covid-19.”
Barnsley Council is encouraging residents to get vaccinated as it’s the best way to protect yourself from the virus – and the town’s vaccine roll-out is going well.
More than 290,000 vaccines have been given across the borough since the start of the pandemic, with more than 80 per cent of adults receiving at least their first dose, and more than 60 per cent being fully vaccinated against Covid.
“Getting fully vaccinated also remains vital in our approach to tackling this virus,” Ms Abbott added.
“Vaccines offer protection against this variant, with very good protection after the second dose.
“As a result, it is of the utmost importance that everyone receives both doses of the vaccine.
“Everyone aged 18 and over is now eligible and I urge them to get their vaccine by booking online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or calling 119.”
The town’s death rate remains the second-worst in the UK at 326.1 per 1000,000 residents.
A total of 805 people have died in Barnsley within 28 days of a positive test – though only two person has died in Barnsley with virus over the past month.