Kent waits for Tier 3 review announcement


Kent waits to hear if tier 3 restrictions remain following a review by government yesterday (December 16).

Details are expected some time after 11.30am.

The tier system came into force on December 2 following the second national ‘shut down’ in November

Tier allocations are being reviewed every 14 days but the system will be in place until the end of March.

Tier decisions are based on:
a. Case detection rates in all age groups;
b. Case detection rates in the over 60s;
c. The rate at which cases are rising or falling;
d. Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests
taken); and
e. Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy

Virus transmission has risen across Kent with almost all districts in the county having positive test rates among the highest in the country. Swale currently has the greatest positive rate per 100,000 in England. Thanet is 18th in the list.

In Thanet rates had started to drop but are now showing an increase again, although the isle falls below most Kent areas.

Government data shows 134 new positive cases reported for Thanet yesterday (December 16) making a seven day total of 707, a rise of 24.5% on the preceding seven days. A total of 5,465 positive tests have been recorded for Thanet, as of yesterday.

The rolling seven day rate per 100,000 people is 447.4 as of December 11, a rise on the figure for the previous day.

Three deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded yesterday, making 17 in the last seven days and 205 deaths reported up to December 16. Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.

Hospital data

The latest data published by NHS England shows a rise in the number of patients with Covid being cared for in East Kent Hospitals.

The trust had 227 covid patients as of December 8, a rise from 121 on December 1. This figure is for the main hospitals at Margate, Ashford and, to a lesser degree, Canterbury.

The data shows 18 mechanical ventilation beds in use for patients with confirmed positive covid tests.

The data does not record how many patients are in individual hospitals although a source informs The Isle of Thanet News that currently (week ending December 13) patients are QEQM 112, Ashford 98 and Canterbury 14.

The trust has recorded 618 covid related deaths across its hospitals since the pandemic began up to December 12 and recorded 47 covid related deaths between December 1-7. Data for December 8-12 shows 22 recorded deaths but NHS England warns figures for these dates could change as post mortem tests and data are validated.


The government yesterday released provisional figures which show at least 137,897 people received their first dose of the covid vaccine by the end of Tuesday 15 December. 108,000 people were vaccinated in England.

The majority of the vaccines have been administered to the over-80s, care home workers and NHS staff through more than 70 sites across the UK.

GP-led centres started vaccinating patients this week in England and the roll out will expand to care homes soon.

Over the coming weeks and months, the rate of vaccinations will increase as more doses become available and the programme continues to expand.

GP sites in Thanet are among those that have been carrying out vaccinations

Christmas – restrictions eased

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are meeting in
  • if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Christmas bubbles were maximums not targets.

He said: “The overall situation is worse and more challenging than hoped for when we first set out the rules. It would not be right to criminalise people who have made plans and simply want to spend time with their loved ones. So, we are asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead and what to do to most protect yourself and others,”

The PM said the Christmas rules had not been reversed but he urged people to plan for a ‘small and safe’ Christmas. This means small family bubbles, meeting for shorter time periods and travelling as little as possible.

He also said people should minimise contact with others from this Friday to  lower the risk of transmission and should, if possible, not travel from higher tiers to lower ones.

He added that with the vaccine roll out he expected things to be better in the country by Easter with families being able to enjoy a normal Christmas next year.

Find full government guidance here

Rate per 100,000 people (Seven days ending Dec 11 Government dashboard)

Swale 725.6

Medway 701.1

Basildon 699.3

Havering 596

Dover 557.9

Maidstone 552.3

Ashford 549.9

Canterbury 517.6

Broxbourne 517.1

Barking and Dagenham 512

Thurrock 510.5

Epping Forest 504.2

Gravesham 496.5

Redbridge 480.3

Lincoln 479.4

Hastings 455.4

Brentwood 454.4

Thanet 447.4

Boston 441.8

Folkestone and Hythe 438.1

Tonbridge and Malling 435.1

Other Kent towns

Dartford 422.7

Tunbridge Wells 288.9

Sevenoaks 246.8

England 197.5

Kent 481.9

Medway 701.1

Rates per 100,000 people published on the Kent County Council website differ to government stats due to being for a timeframe 3 days ahead.

KCC stats for week 6 December to 12 December weekly cases per 100,000 people

Kent 494.9 +151 vs previous 7 days

England 202.9 +49.5 vs previous 7 days

Cases by district

Ashford 590.8 +331.5 vs previous 7 days

Canterbury 528.4 +203.1 vs previous 7 days

Dartford 427.2 +134.1 vs previous 7 days

Dover 604.6 +229.5 vs previous 7 days

Folkestone and Hythe 448.7 +147.8 vs previous 7 days

Gravesham 493.7 +67.3 vs previous 7 days

Maidstone 558.1 +143.2 vs previous 7 days

Sevenoaks 256.7 +121.7 vs previous 7 days

Swale 730.9 +105.9 vs previous 7 days

Thanet 451.7 +28.9 vs previous 7 days

Tonbridge and Malling 447.2 +164.2 vs previous 7 days

Tunbridge Wells 301.5 +127.2 vs previous 7 days

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

About the data

 KCC publishes the number of COVID-19 cases in the stated 7 day period. This provides a better indication of local trends than individual daily figures, which can fluctuate considerably from day to day. Figures are given as a rate per 100,000 people to make comparisons between different areas more meaningful.

To provide a more complete picture of what the data tells us, KCC uses a full week’s data. COVID-19 test results typically take a few days to show up in the data  and so this can make figures for the most recent days appear lower than they really are. For this reason, KCC does 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 KCC figures.

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.


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