The number of positive covid tests being reported in Thanet has seen another drop but cases countywide are rising and Thanet still has the fourth highest rate in the country.
Weekly cases per 100,000 people for Thanet stands at 434.7 for 25 November to 1 December, down 19.7% on the previous 7 days, according to data from Kent County Council (see footnote).
But the figure for Kent as a whole has jumped 24% to 301.4 per 100,000, making the chance of a move to Tier 2 after the December 16 review slim. Cases for Swale have also increased to 575.7 per 100,000, a rise of 3.3% on the previous 7 days.
The figure for England is 148.2.
Medway is now the area in the country with the highest positive test rates at 581.6 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Swale. Thanet has the fourth highest positive test rate in the country followed by Maidstone and then Gravesham. Dover has the tenth highest rate.
According to the government coronavirus dashboard Thanet’s 7 day rolling rate is 444.6 in the seven days until November 30 – a time lag on the Kent data.
Localised data shows Margate Town at a seven day case rate of 894.3 per 100,000 and Dane Valley and Northdown Hill with a seven day case rate of 728.9. In contrast Broadstairs North now stands at 249.6 per 100,000.
Thanet registered 100 new positive test results today, making a total of 4,443
For Thanet 3 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported today (December 5) making the loss of 175 lives (within 28 days of a positive test) for the isle.
Data from East Kent Hospitals (via NHS England) shows there are 121 occupied Covid beds as of December 1 at the main sites (Margate, Ashford and Canterbury). This is down from 173 on November 30. Of those 16 mechanical ventilation beds are in use, down one from November 30. East Kent Hospitals Trust has recorded 563 covid related deaths (see footnote).
The Army is being drafted in for the county’s asymptomatic testing programme using lateral flow tests.
Local authorities that fall into tier 3 are able to apply for support from NHS Test and Trace and the Armed Forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme.
This includes access to lateral flow tests and planning, logistics, funding and communications support.
KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We continue to work hard on planning the asymptomatic testing programme for Kent and welcome the government’s commitment to support us, along with the publication of their community testing prospectus.
“The military have agreed to help with the logistical planning of this ‘lateral flow testing’ which is a huge undertaking given the size and complexity of the county. We have identified priority sites and now need to plan practically how this testing programme will work.
“We will be targeting those people who have the biggest exposure to the virus in the districts with the highest prevalence of COVID-19 first, so that we can begin to bring down the rates quickly in those areas and therefore help the whole of Kent move out of tier 3 as quickly as possible.
“We are one of the largest local authorities in the country, so identifying suitable venues and recruiting staff to operate the sites is part of the difficult logistical process that form part of the planning. Once details about site venues and how they will operate are confirmed, we will release more information including advice on how people can book a test.
“Testing is still available across every Kent district and there is plenty of capacity so please, if you develop symptoms of coronavirus book a test straight away through https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
“Asymptomatic testing is a significant undertaking that requires planning and whilst it is an important part of managing the pandemic, it is not the solution and any testing needs to be alongside all the other public health measures such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.
“As part of tier 3 restrictions for Kent and Medway we also urge the public to follow the guidelines and ensure they limit their social interactions so we can reduce transmission rates further.”
Details of Kent County Council data: To provide a more complete picture of what the data tells us, we use a full week’s data. COVID-19 test results typically take a few days to show up in the data we use and so this can make figures for the most recent days appear lower than they really are. For this reason, we do not include data for the most recent 4 days.
Rates may differ slightly from those published by Public Health England as these are produced as a snapshot in time, and do not include cases that were confirmed later on. Other sources may publish figures for different time periods and so they may not match ours.
Details of Covid attributed deaths data: NHS England and NHS Improvement publish the number of patients who have died in hospital and tested positive for COVID-19 in England. Since Tuesday 28 April, NHS England and NHS Improvement also reports the number of patient deaths where there has been no COVID-19 positive test result, but where COVID-19 is documented as a direct or underlying cause of death on part 1 or part 2 of the death certification process. This change has been introduced for deaths that occurred on 24 April and subsequently.
This means the NHS England and NHS Improvement data collection provides information on all COVID related (suspected and confirmed) deaths in England hospitals.