Bradford seeing rise in Covid-19 infections and is at risk of local lockdown

Bradford is being monitored closely by health officials amid a rise in local cases of coronavirus.
Bradford is at risk of entering local lockdownBradford is at risk of entering local lockdown
Bradford is at risk of entering local lockdown

There are fears that if evasive action is not taken to stop the spread of Covid-19, Bradford could end up following cities such as Leicester in being placed under 'local lockdown'.

Bradford is now considered an 'outlier' on the government's watch list of towns and cities and is at risk of being locked down.

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Even if this scenario is avoided, the council may decide - with government authorisation - not to allow bowling alleys, boxing gyms and some other sports facilities to re-open in line with the rest of the UK.

Bradford Council has sanctioned an immediate outreach effort to educate people about the ongoing dangers of the virus.

Wardens and staff will be out and about in the city centre and suburban neighbourhoods and visiting bars, pubs and restaurants to promote safety messages.

Bradford has also been proactive in testing residents, and has the third-highest testing rate in Yorkshire.

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A statement from Bradford Council read: "Bradford is starting to see a rise in infection rates again and is now an outlier on the government’s watch list. This brings a real concern that if rates rise further in the district it could prompt local lockdown measures, similar to those imposed on Leicester, which would have a drastic impact on businesses and the economy.

"Nationally, lockdown measures have eased, but there is a real fear that some people might think this means the pandemic is over and that Covid-19 is no longer a threat. This is not the case. Covid-19 is still around, is still infecting people, and is still killing people.

"The council is ramping up its response to a possible Covid-19 spike, and this week will see hundreds of wardens and council staff out in city and town centres, neighbourhoods and visiting premises to urge them to stay safe.

"The council is also talking with the government as to whether it is safe to implement any further local easing of restrictions that were due to take place on August 1, meaning bowling alleys, boxing gyms and some other sports sites may not be able to re-open as planned. This decision would need to be made by the Secretary of State.

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"Health leaders are also advising people who have been shielding to continue to be extra vigilant and cautious given the increased infection rates.

"Bradford has taken strong measures to tackle the virus and currently has the third highest Covid-19 testing rate of authorities in Yorkshire and Humber. But it is the action of every resident that will be important in keeping infection rates low.

Bradford Council leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe added:

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Covid kills: let’s not be in any doubt about this. This is a high-stakes position and to avoid a local lockdown we all need to do what we can to prevent a further spike in Covid-19 infections. We all know what the impact of this would be on people’s health, their livelihoods, and our economy.

“No one wants more lockdown measures so we want everyone to follow the Covid Code: Wash your hands, keep the right distance, wear a mask, and follow the guidance on family visiting. Let’s lock down Covid, not let Covid lock us down."

Advice for Bradford residents

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- Keep at least two metres apart from anyone you don't live with

- Wear a face mask in shops and on public transport

- Wash your hands frequently

- Avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses

- Get tested if you have a high temperature, a cough or a loss of sense of smell/taste

- Gatherings should involve no more than two households together indoors and six outdoors

- Isolate at home for seven days if you have any symptoms

- Stay away from crowds and events

- Avoid spitting