One further Kent patient has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) bringing the total in Kent and Medway to seven.
The latest case is shown in information released by the government in daily updates. There are no further details as yet about the location within the county of the case.
As of today (March 10) 324 people in the UK have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19. Six patients who tested positive have died.
In Thanet, Ramsgate Care Centre residential home in Boundary Road has shut to visitors as a precaution due to a suspected case within a one mile radius. The centre has 41 elderly residents.
Owners Select Healthcare Group’s operation director Brett Bernard said: “We would like assure relatives and stakeholders we have no suspected cases of COVID-19 within the home and this measure has been taken for prevention and to protect the vulnerable adults in our care. Additional measures have also been put in to place within the home.
“Posters, increased infection control and restrictive visiting is already in place. We are assessing the situation daily and will makes appropriate changes when needed.”
Another staff member from St Lawrence College in Ramsgate has gone into isolation. The teacher recently returned from an organised Latin trip to the south of Italy.
A school spokesperson said: “We were made aware that a member of staff who had just returned from a trip to southern Italy had developed a dry cough over the weekend. The teacher concerned otherwise feels well, but as a precautionary measure and in line with guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS 111, the teacher is now self-isolating and is arranging to be tested for Covid-19. The teacher has not been into College since the visit to Italy.
“With the number of reported cases in the UK growing daily, we are, of course, aware that this is a worrying time. The welfare of everyone in the SLC community remains our primary concern and we are keeping all parents and staff informed. At the same time, we need to ensure that our response is proportionate. We continue to take Public Health England advice, which is currently to keep the school open, even if there is a confirmed Covid-19 case.”
At QEQM Hospital in Margate a testing ‘drive through’ method appears to have been introduced with people urged to stay in their vehicle and call a designated number for further advice. The site also has a quarantine pod. Government advice is to stay at home and call 111 if you present with symptoms.
At Broadstairs Education Centre language school there have been student cancellations and staff are currently working reduced hours due to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
The centre, which has 10 dormitories at its St Peters Park Road base, says the immediate effects of the outbreak are ‘undeniable’ but directors are putting in short and long term plans to protect staff jobs, homestay providers and contractors.
BEC says some Spring bookings have been moved back but has iterated that there is no ‘notion of collapse’ and the school expects to continue flourishing during the second half of year. Bosses say where appropriate, staff will be offered the chance to take up annual leave.
In a message to parents the school said a family member of one of the students has been diagnosed with the virus. The student will self-isolate for 14 days. A member of staff who also had contact with the affected person has taken the same measures.
The school also said: “A small number of students are self-isolating as a precautionary measure due to contact with family or friends who have visited from the affected regions in Northern Italy.”
Head teacher Debra Liddicoat said: “No students have been diagnosed with Coronavirus and therefore we will continue to follow the PHE guidance.”
The children’s outpatient department at QEQM Hospital in Margate was also closed on March 4 after a patient -understood to be a child – presented with the possibility of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus.
The Brit Inn in Margate has ditched beer runners and staff will be cleaning the bar surfaces with sanitising agents every half hour or sooner if required. Hand sanitiser will be on bar at all times.
Staff at QEQM Hospital also recently appealed for visitors to refrain from taking away hand sanitiser from the wards.
Kent County Council
Kent County Council is working in close partnership with all organisations to ensure health and social care systems are prepared for further increases in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Health and local authorities are appealing for people to follow national Government guidance to prevent further spread of the illness and limit the numbers affected.
The new dedicated 111 online #coronavirus service includes a series of quick questions to answer, and will tell you if you need medical help and advise you on what to do next. #COVID19 https://t.co/1R5M9F3bsG pic.twitter.com/ysfjkZZn5a
— NHS South East (@NHSsoutheast) March 10, 2020
This guidance includes taking basic hygiene precautions as the best way of significantly reducing the chances of spreading any virus: sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.
Current evidence indicates that most cases appear to be mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms. Older residents or those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions may experience more severe symptoms.
A new £46 million government package includes funding for urgent work to find a coronavirus vaccine and develop a rapid test for the disease.
Supported by UK funding, eight possible coronavirus vaccines are currently under development and efforts are being made to get any viable vaccines from sequencing of the virus to clinical testing in under a year – a record timeframe. Governments around the world could then work with pharmaceutical companies to get vaccines into production and use.
National updates are published daily at 2pm at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public