Covid rates in Thanet -and Swale- have started to reduce.
According to data published by Kent Public Health the weekly case rate per 100,000 people for Thanet is now at 487.6 – finally coming below the 500s.
Similarly for Swale – which has been above 600 cases per 100,000 – the rate is now shown as 528.4.
The England average is now 214.7 and has shown a decrease of more than 27%.
The two areas are still among the 10 highest case rates in the UK but, as predicted by Kent director of Public Health Andrew Scott-Clark, the effect of lockdown is now starting to become apparent in the figures.
The case data is for 14 November to 20 November.
The government covid dashboard shows a higher rate but the data is up until November 19 – a day’s lag on the Kent public health figures.
Government data shows the 7 day rate at 510.1 with 61 cases reported today (November 24) and 714 in the last seven days – a drop of 3%. The dashboard data says 3,367 people in Thanet have had a confirmed positive Covid test
The data shows, however, that covid-related deaths are still rising with15 deaths of people who had been diagnosed as covid positive within 28 days of their passing. This means the isle has suffered 142 deaths of those testing positive within the 28 days and a total of 165 deaths where Covid is mentioned on the certificate up until November 13.
Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.
NHS data shows that as of November 17 there were 87 beds occupied by Covid positive patients in east Kent Hospitals (Margate, Ashford and Canterbury). Eleven patients with a positive covid diagnosis were on mechanical ventilation on that date. Between November 10-16 East Kent Hospitals recorded 10 deaths of patients with a positive Covid result. There have been 499 deaths in the hospitals to date of patients recorded as having the virus.
However, the lowering rates are not likely to be enough to keep Thanet – and possibly Kent as a whole – out of the higher Covid tiers when lockdown ends on December 2.
An announcement about which areas will be under which tier levels is expected to be made on Thursday (November 26).
Kent Public Health director Andrew Scott-Clark last week said that if restrictions are based on upper tier authority areas Kent as a whole could be forced into a top tier.
He said: “We know that Kent and many districts are in a different position in terms of the number of cases per 100,000. Currently two boroughs are on the national watch list. There is a lot of discussion centrally about what the tiers may look like coming out of lockdown.”
He added: “There is a view, not confirmed but likely, that upper tier authorities will go in a level as a whole.”
All four parts of the UK have signed off an aligned approach today allowing up to three households to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ from December 23 to 27.
Individuals will also be able to travel between tiers and across the whole of the UK without restriction within the five-day period, for the purposes of meeting with their bubble. Those travelling to and from Northern Ireland will be permitted to travel an additional day either side.
Christmas bubbles will be able to gather in private homes, attend places of worship together and meet in outdoor public places but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.