Covid19 in Calderdale: Calder Valley MP gets his facts wrong

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker has got his facts wrong. In a recent facebook video, he mistakenly claims that there have been only 100-108 Covid19 “cases” in Calderdale. He also says Calderdale Council’s decision to advise schools not to reopen more widely on 1st June is “not based on any evidence whatsoever” and is “ill informed”.


The latest info is that there are 285 confirmed cases of Covid19 in Calderdale, out of a local population of 211,455. (Figures last updated 09:00 GMT, 20 May, sourced by the BBC from UK public health bodies, ONS, NRS and NISRA.)

That means, 285 people have tested positive. But very few people have been tested, so the actual number of people in Calderdale who’ve been infected will be significantly more than 285.

The data reported by the BBC also shows that in Calderdale there were 94 coronavirus-related deaths up to 8th May. In this area 18% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 8 May

The JoinZoe covid19 symptom tracker app shows an estimated 0.9% of the Calderdale population with Covid-19 symptoms on 21 May. This is 1,903 people if my arithmetic is right.

Data from the JoinZoe website, last update 5am, 21.5.2020

This is down from 3.81% of the Calderdale population on 8th April, or 8,056 people. So the lockdown has worked well. And needs to keep on working until we have an effective local contact tracing/isolation support service in place. Which is the only way to ease the lockdown safely.

Data from 8th April on the JoinZoe website

Also, regarding pressure on our hospitals in Halifax and Huddersfield – if my counting on this table, below, is right, CHFT is in the 50% most pressured hospitals – (ranking 62nd out of 127 hospitals, where 1st= most pressured), in terms of deaths of patients from covid 19 per 100 beds (a measure to make different sized hospitals comparable) .

Info from Dave West, Health Service Journal How many coronavirus deaths have taken place each week at each hospital trust, relative to its size. Another way of visualising the scale of pressure on different hospitals and in different parts of England.)

That means up to 15 May, we have been among the most suffering half of hospitals in the country.

And since the government are forever telling us to protect the NHS by carrying out all the necessary infection control measures, it seems a bit weird that Craig Whittaker MP hasn’t taken that into account when criticisng the Council’s decision to advise schools against reopening more widely on June 1st.

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