THE Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues to cause trouble in Bradford and across the UK, with rising case numbers and hospitalisations also increasing.

Hundreds of people are returning positive Covid-19 tests every day in the district as the new, highly transmissible variant continues its rampage across the country.

The knock-on effect of this in hospitals is beginning to show, with numbers trending upwards in the district and expected to keep climbing.

This follows the pre-Christmas warning that Bradford is about a week behind the situation in London, the epicentre of Omicron in the UK, where hospital numbers continue to rise.

So, what is the current situation in Bradford?

While Omicron is less severe than its predecessor Delta, as it is more transmissible, this high level of spread means while most people have only mild illness, the number of people with serious illness is still significant as it is a proportion of a larger number.

There are fears these increasing numbers – especially in Bradford where more than one in four people are still completely unvaccinated, one in three don’t have both doses, and only 40 per cent of people have had their booster jab – coupled with the impact of forced self-isolation on NHS staff who get the virus, could put pressure on health services.

The best way to protect against serious illness or death from Covid-19 remains the same as ever – getting vaccinated if you haven’t yet got your jabs, and getting your booster jab when you can.

This is the current Covid-19 situation in Bradford


Positive case numbers are currently at their highest since the pandemic began in Bradford. On December 27, there were 593 positive PCR tests in the district, the highest figure since July.

The number of positive PCR tests has been trending upwards since the beginning of December, and the figures for the last five days are incomplete so the number may be even higher.

This surge in cases is being reflected in the shortage of PCR tests; as of 10.30am this morning [Thursday] it was impossible to order tests online in England.

The infection rate in Bradford sits currently at 624.8 cases per 100,000 people, the 21st lowest in the UK, but still the highest it has been this year.


As of December 21, there were 47 Covid-19 patients at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. While lower that the numbers in hospital in October and November, the figure is rising.

It does remain well below the peaks of April and November 2020, when there were 192 and 160 patients in hospital, respectively, for now.

There are currently no patients on ventilators as per the latest Government figures.

At Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, there are currently 19 Covid patients. After rising at the start of the month, the number has fallen again.

It remains below the number of patients in hospital in November and way below the peaks of November 2020 and January this year when over 90 people were in hospital with the virus.

There are three people on mechanical ventilation beds at Airedale

There are three people with Covid at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, none on ventilators.


Bradford continues to trail behind in vaccination against Covid-19, the best protection against becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.

Across the district, 73.7 per cent of people have had at least a single dose, leaving more than a quarter of people totally unprotected against Covid. Two-thirds of people are double vaccinated, and so far 40.6 per cent of people have had a booster jab.

Nationally 89.9 per cent of people have had at least one dose, 82.3 per cent are double jabbed, and 57.5 per cent have had their booster jab so far.


Across the UK, after reaching a small peak at the end of October, deaths have been trending downwards ever since, but around 100 people are still dying everyday from Covid-19.

In Bradford, reported deaths remain low, with weekly deaths rarely going above a dozen since March, showing the impact vaccines have had on reducing serious illness from Covid.

This time last year, when the NHS’s vaccine rollout was in its infancy, more than 40 people a week were dying from Covid in Bradford.