Looking at Covid and deprivation and the latest data for Thanet

Coronavirus

The rate of weekly Covid cases per 100,000 people has swelled again for Thanet with the figure now recorded as 411.5 (4 November to 10 November), according to data published by Kent County Council.

The rate is four times that of west Kent’s Tunbridge Wells and has more than doubled from the 200.8 weekly cases per 100,000 people recorded for the week up to November 2.

Today’s (November 14) figures on the government coronavirus dashboard show 80 new cases reported for Thanet (down on 103 yesterday), making a total of 631 cases between November 8-14. This is a rise of 275 (or 77.2%) on the figure for the previous seven days.

The total number of people in Thanet who have had a confirmed positive test result as of November 14 was 2,403.

There were five deaths within 28 days of a positive test for Coronavirus reported for the week to 14 November for Thanet. The total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus as of today was 124. Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.

The government dashboard says the seven day rolling rate to November 9 is 383.3 per 100,000 ( a day’s time lag on the figures published by Kent County Council).

The latest R number (the rate an affected person will spread to others) for the healthcare region of South East is estimated at 1.2 to 1.4 with a daily infection growth rate range of +3% to +6% as of 13 November. Ideally the R rate should be at one or below to show a decrease of virus spread.

Across the UK 462 deaths and 26,860 positive tests were reported today.

East Kent Hospitals data

Intensive care beds Photo EKHUFT

As of November 5, 818 East Kent Hospitals trust beds were occupied and of these 27 were confirmed covid patients beds, up from 3 on October 5

Mechanical ventilation beds occupied 36 – of these 5 are confirmed Covid patients

There was just one admission for a Covid confirmed patient between November 1-4

Six inpatients were diagnosed with Covid November 1-4

There were 8 discharges for Covid confirmed patients November 1-4

From November 1-12 (November 8-12 provisional data) 12 Covid-related deaths have been recorded within East Kent Hospitals (main hospitals Margate, Ashford and Canterbury)

A total of 481 covid related deaths have been recorded at East Kent Hospitals since March 1-November 12.

Data compiled by HSJ says there is a 3.5% Covid patient ratio at East Kent Hospitals, which is among the lowest in the country.

Tier restrictions?

Yesterday Thanet council leader Rick Everitt said the whole community needs to take action now to reduce the spread and lessen the risk of high tier restrictions when the ‘lockdown’ ends on December 2.

He said: “Although we have been in a slightly better position than the national picture, this no longer the case. The fact is that the number of cases in Thanet has risen sharply since mid-October and we need to take action to respond as a community. If the numbers don’t fall we face the threat of continuing restrictions when the national lockdown is reviewed in December, which will have a further effect on everyone’s lives, as well as the local economy.”

Andrew Scott-Clark, Director of Kent Public Health, said there is evidence of more outbreaks in the community. He said: “Cases are rising across every area in Kent and we are seeing more outbreaks in the community – especially Thanet and Swale – and among working age populations.

“Although we are still below the national average as a county, it’s really important that we protect the most at risk people among our older residents and this is important now, before we reach the end of any national restrictions. KCC is working closely with Thanet District Council and partners to manage and respond to the Covid pandemic and we will ensure the public are kept fully informed as plans for the county, post national lockdown, are established.”

Did the tier restrictions work?

Yesterday (November 13) Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, said  the virus appears to be levelling out in areas that had been in high tier restrictions before the national ‘lockdown, But increased gathering in the days between the lockdown announcement and it actually coming into force appear to have caused a rise in infections across other areas in England

He said: “A recent report by ONS (Office of National Statistics) shows that the epidemic was continuing to level out at least in the week up to  November 6.

“The modelling based on these data suggest that the incidence of new infections was even declining, albeit slowly. There are still regional variations in trend with the areas of the North West that were generally in tier 3 showing the greatest decline. It is also notable that the most obvious decline was in younger age groups 7 to 24 whilst in older age groups the prevalence was still increasing.

“These results are in line with other sources of data that suggest that the tier system was having a beneficial impact on bringing down the transmission rate of the infection, and it is notable that the region with the greatest number of local authorities in tier 3 (The North West) has seen the most obvious decline in prevalence.

“On November 12 there was a dramatic increase in reports of new COVID infections in England and it looks like this increase was first obvious in samples collected on November 9. We have to be careful about reading too much into a single day’s figures but it has been suggested that the increase was due to increased socialisation in the days before the start of the new lockdown.

“If this increase in the daily reports of new cases  continues over the next few days then it is indeed likely that increased socialisation during the five days between the announcement and the eventual lockdown has driven a surge in infections and thereby reduced any benefit from the current lockdown. We will have to wait for the next ONS report to know for certain what has been happening in the past few days.”

Source Science Media Centre

Looking at Covid rates and deprivation

Reasons for growth in areas like Thanet and Swale may be linked to deprivation, both districts have wards that rank in the county and UKs most deprived areas based on factors such as education, income and employment, health and disability, housing, crime and environment.

Thanet ranks as the most deprived local authority in Kent (2019 data) and has the greatest number of neighbourhood areas (known as LSOAs) classed as most deprived, followed by Swale.

However, areas with similarly high deprivation, such as Hastings, recorded a rate per 100,000 of just 61.5 in the seven days rolling to November 9 and 8 deaths within 28 days of a positive covid test up until November 14, according to the government dashboard data. The area has a total of 502 confirmed positive test results as of November 14.

Speaking earlier this year about factors evident in the spread of the virus Prof Dave Gordon, Director of the Bristol Poverty Institute and Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research, University of Bristol, said deprived areas are shown to be amongst the hardest hit:

Key workers such as those caring for older people

He said: “People in poorer areas are more likely to get a Covid-19 infection. They are more likely to be key workers (for example, care assistants, shop assistants, building workers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, etc) so they are more likely to come into contact with infected people than their peers in richer areas who may be able to work from their homes.

“Many key worker jobs are low paid and therefore these key workers often live in deprived areas. People in deprived areas are more likely to have to rely on public transport than people in richer areas and thus come into contact with infectious people.

“They are also more likely to have worse internet connections and not be able to afford the premium on grocery home delivery services so will need to go out to shop for food more often than people in richer areas.

Higher housing density such as HMOs (Cliftonville West)

“Deprived areas tend to have higher population densities than richer areas therefore people in these areas are more likely to have contact with an infected person when they leave their homes for exercise, medical care, food shopping, etc.  The higher the population density the more difficult maintaining social distancing is likely to be.

“Secondly, people in poor areas who have a Covid-19 infection are more likely to die. There is a higher risk of severe disease and death from a Covid-19 infection if you have underlying health condition such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer.

“People in deprived areas are more likely to suffer from these particular underlying health conditions than people in richer areas, for a range of reasons, such as greater pollution levels, greater stress levels, greater inflammation levels, greater risk of  infections in childhood. The Inverse Care Law unfortunately still affects the NHS in the UK  – the quality of health care is inversely related to health need i.e. deprived areas on average have worse health care than richer areas.

“It is very disappointing but not surprising that more people are dying of Covid-19 infections in deprived areas, given the reasons listed above.  However, what is a surprise is that the inequality in death rates between richer and poorer areas from Covid-19  are so much greater than deaths from other causes.

“In the most deprived 30% of areas people are more than twice as likely to die from Covid-19 infections compared with people in the richest 10% of areas in both England and in Wales.  So far the Public Health response to the pandemic has not targeted or tried to shelter people living in deprived areas – this is clearly needed.”

Source Science Media Centre

District comparison

At a local level there is a disparity between cases in Thanet, with its deprivation ranking, compared to more affluent Tunbridge Wells which does not have any LSOAs within the 10% most deprived. Tunbridge Wells recorded 18 new confirmed positive tests today making a total of 1,119. The total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus as of 13 November for Tunbridge Wells was 54. Weekly cases per 100,000 for that borough stand at 100.2.

Thanet has two Covid testing centres, a drive in at Manston and a walk/drive in at the car park by Dreamland. The nearest walk/drive through sites to Tunbridge Wells are Rochester, Chatham or Gatwick (excluding mobile testing).

Kent Public Health is working with partners towards a local Test and Trace system which will be aligned to the current NHS national system and expected to be in place by the end of November.

Kent’s Public Health is also finalising plans and liaising with the Department of Health and Social Care to request supplies of Lateral Flow Devices (rapid testing).

Find more information at www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent “

BAME communities

Dr Navin Kumta, Ashford GP and clinical chair of the CCG, says GPs are working to support patients from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) backgrounds and others at high risk from Covid-19:

He said: “People from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities, and those in areas of deprivation, are more likely to be affected by Covd-19 than others. The risks increase more with age, with long term conditions, with jobs that have lots of contact with others, and with being overweight.”

GP surgeries across Kent and Medway are contacting their patients who are most at risk from Covid-19 to provide advice and to review their long term conditions.

Dr Kumta added: “Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure add to the risks. One of the most important things you can do to be fit to fight Covid is to make sure any long term conditions are under control. There are often simple things your GP can do to help.

“If you get a letter, text or call please don’t ignore it. Covid is serious and we can help.”

Weekly cases per 100,000 people

Thanet 411.5

Swale 357.1

England 257.4

Gravesham 256.2

Dartford 254.9

Tonbridge and Malling 178.6

Maidstone 171.1

Canterbury 169.9

Dover 166.0

Sevenoaks 144.9

Folkestone and Hythe 123.0

Ashford 118.5

Tunbridge Wells 100.2

Figures from Kent County Council 

*DATA COMES FROM GOVERNMENT’S CORONAVIRUS DASHBOARD AND KENT COUNTY COUNCIL. 

Council support

Community Helpline for anyone who needs additional support at this time. The number is 01843 577 330 and the helpline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Funding for local businesses will open  week commencing 23 November www.thanet.gov.uk/business-advice.

There is a Facebook Group to provide local businesses with information, help and support: www.facebook.com/groups/ThanetBusinessSupport

Thanet ‘lockdown’ 2: List of essential help services

Thanet mum’s call for better parent guidance as positive Covid cases rise in schools

28 Comments

  1. Westbrook & Garlinge are currently Covi-19 ‘Hot Spots’. These aren’t the most deprived areas of Thanet. Hastings is also a deprived area & yet has a low incidence.

    • The deprivation data I think has to be looked at in the context of district as someone perhaps in a key worker job, who may use public transport will not stay in one ward, they will travel for work/shopping/school runs and if there is the spread it may then be to elderly/people in poor health etc. That’s how I read what he was saying anyway. Quite true about Hastings, I’ve added a bit about that as it does show the disparity with poverty as a single factor.

    • It’s schools that’s spreading it if you have been near a confirmed case unless you have been on top of them you can continue to go to school if staff but if you had been to near someone anywhere else track and trace would tell you to isolate madness

  2. Perhaps Mr Everitt can have a word with the supermarkets then-they allow covidiots to not line up on the floor markings at the till & instead stand right behind the other customers at the till with practically zero distance.

    Cretins like this are greatly contributing to the rate by thinking the rules don’t apply to them & these retail behemoths reinforce that thought process by not having staff enforcing rules, anybody would think they only care about their profits.

    • Steve: you can take steps (literally) to keep your distance from other people.
      In supermarket queues, if the person behind is too close, I glare at them; if that doesn’t work, I firmly but politely ask them to give me a bit of space.
      Once a bloke said “what’s your problem? I haven’t got Covid!”
      “No,” I said, “but I might have.”
      He backed off.

  3. Thank you for an informative article.
    Kent Online reports Nethercourt, Pegwell and Cliffsend as the area of Thanet with the highest number of positive cases. Again, not the most deprived area of Thanet, nor shops (altho possibly a high proportion of older residents)

    • Yes, the figures change quickly though. I think a few days ago Westbrook and Garlinge were among the most affected wards. The deprivation data I think has to be looked at in the context of district as someone perhaps in a key worker job, who may use public transport will not stay in one ward, they will travel for work/shopping/school runs and if there is the spread it may then be to elderly/people in poor health etc. That’s how I read what he was saying anyway.

      • Yep, so he’s done his best to concoct a narrative that serves his agenda. Surely we should really only be interested in excess deaths solely attivutable to covid ( but seeing as there are so few it’d be a non story).
        Recently there’s been an uptik of serious cases amongst young body builders, their use of steroids having made them vulnerable to the effects of covid.
        Why can’t we have the truth about whats affecting people ( obesity, diabetes, etc) rather than trying to push political agendas with these daft theories.

        • Doesn’t this make a false distinction between poverty and obesity and diabetes? Poverty causes people to buy only the cheaper food, and that food is full of fat and sugar to bulk it out so the underlying conditions AND the poverty AND the age AND the density of the population AND the type of jobs being done (face-to-face with the public) are all factors that make the incidence worse.
          Have I got a political agenda for saying this!

          Oh, AND the reckless behaviour of some people , including the older Covid-deniers who are getting bored at home.
          Is THAT a comment based on a political agenda? Or, in fact, aren’t I just trying to identify relevant factors?

          • You can eat energy dense food just don’t eat so much it damages your health. If you’re poor why waste money on excess calories you don’t need. Maintaining a reasonable level of fitness is not too hard ( not talking about being an athlete , rather ability to walk a couple of miles and climb stairs easily). If you’d in reasonable health covid doesn’t present much of a risk for those of working age. So wouldn’t matter where you worked.
            NHS workers must almost certainly be those with the greatest risk of catching it, but those that have died were for the most part suffering underlying conditions .
            A disease that is going to be fatal too so few of those that catch it and where protecting the over 70’s would be the most efficient use of resources along with those suffering immuno suppressing conditions.
            Speak to nhs staff and they’ll tell you that a glance at someone presenting with covid is often enough to guess how hard it’ll hit them.
            Like the US we’re suffering to the degree we are because of the life choices we’ve made. No politics needs to be involved. Eventually covid will enter every area and so at any given time the covid rates will vary, choose your time and you can make just about any link you wish.

      • That makes sense to me, thank you, Kathy.
        So frustrating that low wages and poor housing are such a contributory factor across the area (and the country) in a relatively rich country.
        IF I were an optimistic person I would hope our councillors and politicians would work to change this in the future.

  4. I am not surprised, not many people seem to be following guidelines i have seen at least 9 people going into a house that already has more than 4 living there, totaly unacceptable behaviour i hope they read this and take notice but i doubt it.

  5. The issue is businesses just acting like nothing has changed there were massive queues on the beach today from for ice creams, coffee, fish and chips, pizza even the pubs was serving pints out of a window.
    Some of the people were locals and some were clearly tourists in Margate for a day out which is against the rules but who cares if they are spending cash right, right, anyone, that’s right no one cares…

    Last weekend on Broadstairs beach (I was walking the dog) their was a DJ outside the pub in what could be described as no less than a beach party, honestly, over 100 people watching yup the pubs closed but the beer still flows with DJs jamming away outside… to be fair it was a good 90s set, but lockdown, right oh…

    WWX, for anyone who has been to WWX you will know its just as busy as normal in the shops that are open, in fact I would say its busier than normal and again no enforcement is in place its just a free for all to the the latest 65″ tv for xmas.

    I suppose you should look to lockdown one for context, the police sent people home who travelled to the beaches and everywhere was shut apart from tescos and sainsburys so people stayed at home because there was nothing else to do.

    Lockdown two is really business as usual for locals and day trippers are very much welcome as they spend £££.

    ——
    Problem:
    Too many business operating as normal this invites people to shop for unessential items such as a 65″ tv or Xbox Series X or WWE action figures for Christmas or any other junk they fancy like nail varnish.
    ——
    Solution
    1, Stop people selling ice creams, beer, fish and chips close B&Q, the Range, Argos and so on.
    2, Send the tourists home, enforce lockdown for real and tell people to stay at home or be fined.
    ——–
    Conclusion
    All the time places like Argos, B&Q, coffeeshops and pubs(hatch beer) remain open we will have a problem, they sell non essential items and invite people to pop out and mingle as normal – lockdown, what lockdown…

    Welcome to Thanet, its business as usual with non essential shops open, absolutely nothing has changed go spent a quid in the arcade.

    • Where are all these Covid Wardens that TDC promised a couple of weeks back? I’ve kept away from the big towns, but certainly haven’t seen any in Westgate or Birchington.

      • No point in having powerless wardens. When you have groups of teenagers basically holding shops to ransom by wandering around aimlessly maskless it just makes a mockery of the whole palaver. Personally i feel the whole mask thing is nonsense , but i’ll wear one where required as its simple enough to do so. The nation is tying itself in knots over the wrong things because society can’t be trusted to behave sensibly ( look after your health, isolate / get tested if you feel you have symptoms) and get on with life. All bonkers.

        • Groups of teenagers are unlikely to listen, but most adult shoppers in High Streets are… but whether they’re effective or not, the point is that TDC announced a couple of weeks back that there would be some. Perhaps others here have seen them?

          Incidentally, I almost certainly had Covid way back in January (moderately bad but fortunately not requiring hospital treatment). This followed a vacation in Austria, later announced as a hot spot dating back as far as December. Maybe I’m the person who brought it to Thanet!

  6. The high Covid numbers in Thanet are a mystery, after having been one of the lowest in the country only a few weeks ago. Can someone please check the way tests and results are being recorded at the Manston test site, please? A friend of mine recently had a negative result sent to her without her even having had a test! If it happened to her, she is probably not the only one.

  7. I’ve only seen maskless Covid wardens walking up and down Northdown rd from Aldi to Tesco then they cross over and walk down to Aldi again then they cross over and do the same thing again how do l know? I’ve followed them.

  8. What a load of bollocks. Statistics being manipulated by politicians.
    Stop being a load of sheep and open the economy.

  9. See the wardens most day walking round all dressed in black trying to look hard and intimidating. When in fact they have zero powers to be honest or looks funny, these big muscular people trying to look intimidating yet we all know they cant say boo to a goose.

    Agree with what has been said above shop that are essential have hit around this by saying click and collect only, by that people just knock on the door to get what they want !.
    At dinner time kids from schools wander around buying their take away for lunch, plus large groups of kids that should be at school or self isolating are walking around town all day.

    There is no real lockdown in thanet and I am not surprised thanet is now top of the league for infection. I find it very scary just how many people in thanet arent taking it seriously.

  10. Big issue is shoppers not wearing masks or not wearing them properly. Loose-fitting with gaps at the sides offers no protection. Masks worn only over the mouth worse than useless. Those who claim to be exempt without any evidence like a lanyard. Best ever,young woman outside a supermarket being asked, politely,to wear a mask. ‘I couldn’t do that.It’d mess up my make-up’.

    I don’t understand why Thanet has shot up the table but it’s enough to send me back to shopping online.

    • We (me and my better half) are avoiding large stores for the smaller ones in the villages. Better to pay higher prices than to get Covid…

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