Local Outbreak Plan published as ‘late peak’ of Covid infections in East Kent confirmed

QEQM Photo Chris Constantine

East Kent experienced a spike in covid cases at the end of May, with hospital trust bosses saying the area suffered a ‘second, late peak.’

The East Kent Hospitals Trust – responsible for QEQM in Margate, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Kent & Canterbury as well as smaller sites in Dover and Folkestone – also recorded 21 deaths attributed to covid in the seven days June 23- June 29.

That figure meant one in nine deaths recorded in hospitals across the country were at East Kent Trust sites – double that of any other trust other than Warwickshire.

A spokesman for East Kent Hospitals said: “East Kent saw a second, late peak of Covid cases in comparison with many other areas of the country, with high numbers of Covid positive patients in late May, particularly at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford.

“The population of east Kent is significantly older and with more co-morbidities than the England average, which means it is vulnerable to becoming acutely unwell with COVID-19.

“The number of Covid positive patients is coming down, with the highest numbers remaining at William Harvey Hospital.”

In total the Trust has recorded 392 losses due to covid since the pandemic began – this figure is for hospitals only.

According to government data there have been 43,720 covid-related deaths in the UK, although this number is estimated to be nearer 65,000.

In Kent there have been 5,623 recorded cases and in Thanet there have been 690 covid cases recorded.

Week 25 (up to June 19) source ONS

Localised data from the Office for National Statistics shows Thanet recorded zero deaths in week 25 (up until June 19) and five deaths – four in hospital, one in a care home – the week before that. In total Thanet has suffered 140 covid-related deaths up to June 19 (registered up until June 27). The losses in Thanet are the greatest number for East Kent.

Source ONS

Local outbreaks

A local lockdown lasting at least two weeks has been announced in Leicester due to the city having recorded 10 percent of all positive cases in the country during the past week.

Non-essential shops have shut and schools will close for most pupils on Thursday. Pubs and restaurants will not reopen on Saturday.

In Kent and Medway a Local Outbreak Control Plan has been published today (July 1) and a Kent and Medway COVID-19 Health Protection Board (HPB) was launched last month.

A focus will be on test and contact tracing. Regional test sites are in Ebbsfleet and Ashford with a site in the east of the county soon to be established

Mobile testing sites are available for deployment in Maidstone, Swale, Canterbury, Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Medway. Work is ongoing to establish a site in Margate.

Local outbreak steps

STEP 1 – Initial Risk Assessment & Contact Kent and Medway councils.

After being alerted of new cases, community clusters or outbreaks infection control advice either by email or verbally will be given. If it is decided that the setting is complex, a joint discussion regarding next steps will be taken.

STEP 2 – Infection Control & Response

A decision will be made whether to convene an Outbreak Control Team (OCT) who will undertake a risk assessment and support occupational health departments or other points of contact with sourcing PPE, staff capacity, removal of bodies and care provision.

STEP 3 – Perform Enhanced Testing & Contact Tracing

Testing of people within complex settings including with existing Mobile Testing Units where necessary.

STEP 4 – Monitor Intelligence

The setting will be monitored closely using regular intelligence updates

STEP 5 – Escalate Concerns & Facilitate Closures/Other Action

In the event of closures, appropriate enforcement where necessary.

Matt Hancock

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has issued a general notice under the Health Service Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002  to support the response to COVID-19.

This allows NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, and others to process confidential patient information without consent for COVID-19 public health, surveillance, and research purposes.

The notice is currently in force until September 30 and provides a temporary legal basis to allow a breach of confidentiality for COVID-19 purposes.

Councillor Karen Constantine who is the local representative on the Kent Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, says she has been thwarted in attempts to get a covid update for Thanet from health chiefs.

She said: “I’ve written to the most senior NHS manager Accountable Officer Wilf Williams seeking an urgent update on Covid in Thanet. It’s frankly bizarre that there is no almost no information being shared between health officials and local politicians. It’s no wonder that people are concerned. Without regular and clear information, the public will struggle to cope with the demands Covid places on us all.

“This is especially important as Emergency Departments have been told to prepare for a heavy workload on July 4 as lockdown eases and pubs etc reopen.

“I’m disappointed that I’m not being given any useful information to share with residents. We appear to be dumbing down local democracy. People need more information, more clarity and more guidance not less. Meanwhile I would urge everyone to follow safety guidelines diligently.“

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale says he fears a covid resurgence due to the large crowds packing out the beaches.

He said: “We are, I fear, in some danger of risking a resurgence of the Covid 19 pandemic and throwing away the gains that have been won at a colossal physical, emotional and economic cost.

“We clearly have to return to some sense of normality in our personal and business lives. Shops, restaurants and cafes, public houses and bars and all of the other services that we all use and depend upon have to be allowed, carefully, to re-open if they are not to be lost together.

“We all understand that both in parliament and in society. While some enterprises and most particularly arts venues are still of necessity closed and facing very extreme financial pressures, and while those who earn their livings from those venues are equally paying a disproportionate price, we are now, cautiously, at the point where at the coming weekend much of England will be once again open for business.

“That business will, though, have to be conducted under highly restrictive conditions and even with the reduction of the `social distance` from two metres to `one metre plus` many food and drink outlets are going to find it very difficult to configure their premises in a way that conforms to regulations and still allows them to serve a sufficient number of customers to make the task worthwhile and commercially viable.

Photo Mark Stanford

“And yet while most businesses are being required to jump through hoops in order to re-open and while some are still barred from trading completely it is, it seems, in order for the Great British Public to tip out of the cities, head for the coast and then congregate on beaches in a manner that is almost guaranteed to spread infection if there is any going.“


  1. This allows NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, and others to process confidential patient information without consent for COVID-19 public health, surveillance, and research purposes.

    do what

    having a giraffe!

    you wait and see next will be everyone has to have RFID chips
    we already have herd community

  2. North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale says he fears a covid resurgence due to the large crowds packing out the beaches.

    who’s fault was that then hmmm the leader of the council Rick
    who took no plans just let it happen
    outrageous Sir Roger
    tories had no beach plans
    thanet had no beach control either
    and covid 19 was littered all over our street

    shame on you all for not having a plan
    guess you only reap what you sow!

  3. Just wait until Saturday when all the pub’s can open plenty of alcohol ? available and more fighting ? on the beaches with no social distancing so we will definitely see a rise in the sunshine coronavirus outbreaks I’m afraid to say. Lockdown Plant Thanet before it’s to late more people getting ill and still no cure. The scientists have been saying for a while now that we will definitely get a second outbreak of the coronavirus and we are only playing into the virus it will win if we are not careful. I don’t think people are taking it seriously enough until they get it and it could kill them or loved ones. RIP ? ⚰ for all of those victims who have subcom to this virus ? xxxxx

  4. It’s been a free-for-all in Cliftonville West. Nobody taking a blind bit of notice of the regulations and no policing of it either. No wonder it is the worst place in Kent for deaths due to Covid-19 coronavirus. People are spreading it about in their large groups having parties with neighbours and friends with live music blasting out late at night. The common sense is very lacking there and having so many small shops open all through the lockdown didn’t help as that brought hords out onto the streets. Boris’s continual praise of the public for obeying the lockdown rules seems ridiculous considering hardly anyone was taking a blind bit of notice. We have and still are suffering because of those fools who keep wandering the streets in groups passing the virus onwards. The rates, as suspected are now rising in communities and this is only getting worse when the other premises open up again this Saturday. As predicted a second wave will sweep the country unless safety in lockdown is brought back in until it is low enough.
    But, a new strain of swine flu virus is rising in China which we should be aware of as it has the potential to cause a pandemic outbreak. It just needs a tipping point. https://www.facebook.com/ScienceNaturePage/videos/201358904481269/

  5. We can only hope that all residents tell their MP to plead with PM to continue lockdown in THANET and postpone pubs, etc from further spreading COVID-19 having beaches used as toilets has maybe been by a minority but that is all it takes to put DECENT RESIDENTS & VISITORS off THANET for good.THANET WILL BE THE LOSERS LONG TERM IF THIS CONTINUES, JUST HOPE FOR RAIN & WINDY WEATHER. Kent Police empty promises & assurances DO NOT APPLY IN THANET IT APPEARS! Who fail miserably in UPHOLDING ENGLISH LAW EXCEPT WHEN IT SUITS THEM. Why are our MPs tolerating this?

  6. The government is driven by economic necessity, not public safety. It is imperative (they think) to get the peasants back to work, turning the wheels of Induatry, generating more wealth for the rich.
    You’d be forgiven for thinking the CV pandemic was all over. Daily briefings suspended, lockdown unlocked, everywhere opening up, news headlines about anything but CV.
    But it’s not over.
    In the UK, the 7 day average shows about 120 deaths each day. Outside Europe and Australia/New Zealand, the pandemic is still increasing exponentially.
    Don’t be too worried about lockdown being eased. No one will force you to go to the pub, or jet off to Costa del Sol.

  7. Wow continuing negativity in the comments. What a bashing your immune systems must be getting. England has a high density population and the report above says: ““The population of east Kent is significantly older and with more co-morbidities than the England average, which means it is vulnerable to becoming acutely unwell with COVID-19.” Let’s look at how to avoid getting some of those co-morbidities in the future.

  8. Walking into a local supermarket with my mask on, I met a chap I know. He looked at me curiously and wondered why I had the mask as he said I didn’t need it now as things were getting back to normal!
    Who is telling us this nonsense? Why are they spreading false optimism and getting us to drop our guard?
    I have no reason to believe this chap is particularly dim, but he seems to believe any propaganda as long as it is reassuring and upbeat and full of gushing enthusiasm without much solid evidence. Does it remind you of any leading politician with a major profile and a blustering style?

    • Yes, apart from the proven liar Boris Johnson, there is his mate the megalomaniac, Donald Trump! He has managed to convince the American public they don’t need to wear a mask, and to re-open bars, restaurants, businesses, etc. Consequently, the USA now has 25% of the deaths in the world due to Covid-19, yet it only has 4% of the world population! Megalomaniac:- “Delusional, Fantasises of power, Omnipotence, inflated self esteem, a narcissistic personality disorder” Thank you Wikipedia!

  9. I’m afraid that my reading of the actual facts here tells a completely different story.. and one that has been recognised since publication. The headlined fact relates to the recorded ‘late peak’ refers to the listed data for the total number of deaths in the COVID epidemic to the week ending *June 15th*. We are a whole month on from there. The other table actually shows precisely 0 deaths in any setting in Thanet during the week ending June 15th. There were 6 in Ashford and a few others but not here.

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