Leeds Council responds after coronavirus death figures released for city

Leeds Council said there is currently 'no evidence' that higher numbers of deaths in different wards across the city are linked to specific events or gatherings, in response to new data documenting coronavirus deaths in Leeds.

The three highest fatality rate wards were Colton, Austhorpe & Whitkirk with 32, Seacroft North & Monkswood with 25 and Roundhay Park & Slaid Hill with 19.

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Now, Leeds Council has responded to the figures released.

Leeds Council

A Leeds council spokesperson said the city had 'thankfully not been as badly affected by coronavirus as other parts of the country'.

The council also extended its condolences to those who have died during the pandemic.

A council spokesperson said: "To date, Leeds has thankfully not been as badly affected by Covid 19 as other parts of the country.

"However around 600 people in the city have sadly died and the city extends our deepest condolences to those people who have been affected. This includes people who died in hospital, in care homes, hospices and at home. In some cases, Covid 19 was the cause of death or it may have been recorded on the death certificate as a contributory factor.

"When we look across the city, the numbers of people who have died per ward are very small; because of this we need to be cautious about making statements about patterns or associations with other factors. It could be by chance that one area has more deaths than another."

Leeds Council added 'there is currently no evidence that higher numbers of deaths in different wards are linked to specific events or gathering' and 'as death data is collected based on where people live rather than where they gather this seems highly unlikely'.

The statement continued: "Public Health officers have carried out analysis on the available data.

"Part of this analysis involves looking at what proportion of the total population in each ward have died.

"This is often presented as a rate per 1,000 of the resident population.

"For most of the wards in the city, any difference between the ward rate and the Leeds average rate is not ‘statistically significant’, this means the difference could have occurred due to chance and may not represent a true difference.

"Where there is a large or ‘statistically significant’ difference between the Leeds average rate and that of an individual ward, this may be due to a number of factors.

"There is an indication that in some wards this difference might be due to an association with deprivation, something we often unfortunately see in deaths due to other causes.

"Other factors that could affect the number of deaths in a ward include having a higher proportion of clinically vulnerable residents, some of whom may live in a care home.

"However, early analysis suggest that care home deaths in a particular ward are unlikely to be the only reason that rates are higher.

"It may also be the case that there are higher numbers of reported Covid deaths in areas where there has been more testing."