Covid tier levels could be ‘strengthened’ when national ‘lockdown’ ends

Dr Susan Hopkins from Public Health England

Tier level restrictions may be ‘strengthened’ when England comes out of national lockdown on December 2.

At a public briefing held today (November 16) Chief Medical Advisor to NHS Test and Trace Dr Susan Hopkins said Tier 1, which Thanet was in before the national restrictions came into force on November 5, “had very little effect.”

The health expert said Tier 3 and Tier 3 plus, which had the most severe restrictions, had resulted in a reducing of cases in the North West, whilst Tier 2 had seen a ‘hold’ in cases in some areas. But Tier 1 had not been effective.

Dr Hopkins said: “When we are looking at tiers in future we will need to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until a vaccine is available to everyone.”

Thanet cases have risen during the national lockdown with the isle now recorded as having 467.9 weekly cases per 100,000 people (November 6-12). This is the second highest rate in the county as Swale has now again recorded the highest rates at 530.4 per 100,000, according to data published by Kent County Council. The England average is 269.5.

Today’s (November 16) figures on the government coronavirus dashboard show 113 (down from 139 yesterday) new cases reported for Thanet, making a total of 740 cases between November 10-16. This is a rise of 340 (or 70.5%) 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 16 was 2,655.

There were four deaths within 28 days of a positive test for Coronavirus reported for November 10-16 for Thanet. The total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus 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 11 is 458.7 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 14 November. Ideally the R rate should be at one or below to show a decrease of virus spread.

The figures are updated daily, although there is time lag on some statistics. They can be found on the government dashboard here and here and the KCC page here

An interactive map on the government’s dashboard site which has figures for neighbourhood areas shows the most affected places are (week up to November 10) Nethercourt, Pegwell and Cliffsend with 59 cases and Newington with 56 cases.

Find the map at

Thanet has two Covid walk/drive in centres at Manston and Margate.

Testing statistics for NHS laboratories (pillar 1) and commercial partners (pillar 2) up to November 12 are  recorded by Kent Public Health.

Kent Public Health data says the sensitivity of RT-PCR testing methodology is reportedly poor and has been estimated to give false-negative rates between 2% and 29% of the time. Positive tests are considered highly accurate by comparison.

Explained: Three-tier Covid alert levels for England

Looking at Covid and deprivation and the latest data for Thanet