PEOPLE in Leeds are being urged to stay at home if they can as hospital admissions continue to rise.

In a tweet on Tuesday the city council's CEO Tom Riordan said: "Leeds cases stable at 332.2 per 100k (from 332.6). Positivity down to 12.5%. Over-60s rate up to 223.6 per 100k. Hospital admissions still rising and case rate forecast to rise again tomorrow. We’re making progress but much more to do. Please keep your distance and stay home if you can."

The figure had risen to 355 per 100,000 before beginning to fall over the weekend.

On January 7the council said cases of Covid19 were continuing to rise, with 316.8 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 14.1 per cent. Key workers were asked to avoid sending their children to school if possible as Leeds faced a "critical" situation.

Concern has been growing nationally over the number of pupils in school during lockdown, with attendance rates surging by up to 50 per cent in some place.

A letter, signed by Executive Member for Learning and Skills Councillor Jonathan Pryor and Director, Children and Families Saleem Tariq, was being sent out by schools.

Describing the situation in Leeds as "critical" it said: "For some of you, we understand that your work is of critical importance that your child absolutely has to be in school. However, if you qualify as a critical worker, but can manage to have your children at home, please do this, and let your school know."

Faith leaders in Leeds were asked to review Covid-19 risk controls and consider not opening for communal worship amid concerns about the new variant of the virus.

In a letter sent to faith leaders in West Yorkshire last week Leeds City Council's Director of Public Health Victoria Eaton said: "Covid-19 rates are increasing rapidly in West Yorkshire. Although the number of cases is currently lower than many other areas of the Country, urgent action is needed immediately if we are to prevent the infection levels being seen in London and the South East in our communities."

She said: "All places of worship have risk assessments to ensure that risks of Covid-19 transmission are clearly identified, and control measures are put in place to reduce these risks.

"The increased transmissibility of the new variant means that we are asking that risk assessments and control measures for places of worship are reviewed. Where you are not confident that the control measures are sufficient to prevent spread of the virus, we ask that you do not open for communal worship.

"In addition, given the new variant and despite being confident about any control measures you may still feel that it is wiser to pause communal worship at this time until we know more about how the new variant is spread."