County council bid to get Tier 4 help for businesses and Thanet covid data

Covid

Kent County Council will lobby government for more business support now the county has been placed into Tier 4 restrictions.

The announcement by government yesterday (December 19) means Thanet – along with the rest of the South East, London and East of England – is in ‘stay at home’ restrictions similar to the November ‘lockdown.’

The move has required all non-essential shops and businesses, including  indoor entertainment [such as cinemas, bowling alleys and casinos], and personal care sectors [such as nail bars, barbers and hairdressers] to close yet again.

Venues can continue to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services and hospitality venues can provide food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery but the impact in the Christmas week will still be devastating for many small businesses.

Kent County Council leader Roger Gough

Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough said: “This is devastating news for the county, for our local economy and for the families that have made Christmas plans that are now in ruins.

“We will do everything in our power to support the county and our residents through this.

“The government has taken this decision to counteract a new and faster variant of the virus which has played a big part in the rapid rise in infections in Kent, London and the south east.

“We will continue to push forward with our local testing and tracing programme, asymptomatic testing and constant engagement with our residents to ensure we are all able to abide by the regulations and get infections down.

“I know the huge difficulties and sacrifices this announcement will cause, but the science is unfortunately very clear. Each one of us must again continue to protect each other’s health from this devastating virus.

“Kent County Council will do everything we can to support local businesses, many of which have already suffered and will have to now remain closed until these new restrictions are lifted.

“We believe, and will be arguing strongly to government, that business support in tier four areas must be strengthened and enhanced to protect livelihoods.

“Christmas is a time when families and friends come together and this year many will find themselves alone and struggling. The Kent Together helpline remains open for all those requiring help and support during this time.”

Any Kent resident who requires support with accessing food, or who has any other urgent needs, can call 03000 41 92 92 or visit www.kent.gov.uk/kenttogether 24 hours a day.

Thanet data

Latest government data (published December 20 and displaying the rate for the week up to December 15), shows rises in the positive case rate per 100,000 people across Kent.

The figure for Thanet has started to rise again although the district is now among the lower rates in the county, standing at 619.4 per 100,000 according to government data.

The data shows 172 new positive cases reported for Thanet today (December 20) making a seven day total of 862, up 50.4% on the preceding seven days. A total of 5,972 positive tests have been recorded for Thanet.

The total number of people recorded who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus as of 20 December was 215 (loss of life within 28 days of a positive test). Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.

New figures available at local level show the number of positive cases per age group. For Thanet, on December 14, the highest rate of cases on that day was amongst the 30-49 age group.

Data for December 14 via gov.uk

AgeCasesRolling Rate per 100,000
0 to 44304.7
5 to 95331.1
10_1418720.9
15_1914657.7
20_246699
25_2914949
30_3414977.2
35_3916851.5
40_4420865.2
45_4911716.1
50_5411437.9
55_5918548.4
60_646410.6
65_697255.1
70_745179.5
75_790171.4
80_841156.5
85_892181
90+5415.9

Government covid data, rates per 100,000 (7 days ending December 15)

England 262.2

Kent 635.7

Thurrock968.2
Medway931.9
Basildon931.1
Havering925.4
Swale879.5
Epping Forest842.1
Ashford806.7
Redbridge793.5
Brentwood788.1
Barking and Dagenham760.9
Rochford752
Hastings732.8
Maidstone709.4
Broxbourne708.3
Dover693.3
Enfield651.9
Castle Point644
Bexley643.6
Gravesham643.4
Waltham Forest637.9
Canterbury627.6
Thanet619.4
Dartford618.1
Folkestone and Hythe606.2
Newham605.2
Tonbridge and Malling598.5
Southend-on-Sea584.8

Hospital data

Weekly data from NHS England shows a large rise in the number of covid patients being cared for by East Kent Hospitals (Margate, Ashford and Canterbury).

The latest data shows 349 beds in use for covid patients under the trust on December 15.

This is a rise of some 122 from the previous week when the Trust had recorded  227 covid patients as of December 8,.

The data also shows a rise of mechanical ventilation beds in use for patients with confirmed positive covid tests from 18 on December 8 to 26 on December 15.

The trust has recorded 669 covid related deaths across its hospitals since the pandemic began up to December 17 although data between December 13-17 – recording 40 losses- is provisional and could be updated.

The pressure on East Kent Hospitals has resulted in the transfer of some patients to other hospitals outside of the Trust sites. It is understood four covid patients were transferred on Friday.

East Kent Hospitals Trust says: “The pressure on all NHS services across Kent and Medway has risen significantly due to the higher infection rates in the community we’ve seen in recent weeks. All our hospitals are very busy and we expect that to continue over the coming weeks.

“The NHS across Kent and Medway is working together to provide support where needed and have cooperated to ensure we have opened more critical care beds. We’re continuing to provide cancer and other urgent operations and aim to carry on providing other treatments as much as possible; but in some cases we need to move staff so they can support the additional critical care beds we have opened.”

Mixed reaction to Tier 4

Craig Mackinlay

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has said he is not convinced the lockdown measures are working.

He said: “I’m saddened South Thanet and Kent has been put into new Tier4. I feel for independent traders who’ll have geared up for Christmas and for families looking forward to brief respite for festive season. We’ve been in lockdown for 6 weeks and there is no improvement. I remain unmoved that they’re the answer.”

Sir Roger Gale

However, North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said it was vital to stick to the restrictions. He said: “It is very hard but if we are to enjoy Christmas and at the same time stay safe it is vital that everyone sticks to the restrictions that have been announced this afternoon. The alternative will be a truly dangerous and terrible start to 2021.”

County Councillor Karen Constantine said: “I welcome Thanet going into Tier 4, we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our community from the new strain of Covid. However the plans for tackling the pandemic in communities like ours are in chaos. It has been clear for sometime that the infection rate in Thanet was rising alarmingly. Recently we had the second highest rates in the Country. I have been repeatedly asking vital questions of KCC leader Roger Gough and calling for action which would have helped to prevent the spread of this dreadful virus.”

The councillor said she had written to the leader to ask for residents to be told when and how asymptomatic covid testing would begin in Thanet. Receiving no answer she says she again wrote to ask about testing and vaccine roll outs, but still did not receive a reply.

She added: “From the very beginning of this pandemic WHO, the world health organisation have repeatedly advised ‘test, test, test’. Testing is vital to understanding virus transmission and protecting public health.

“Like many other families we have quickly altered our arrangements for Christmas. But I am worried by those who are now having to self-isolate and those who will inevitably be lonely and socially isolated over Christmas.

“Better planning, adequate communication and an effective testing regime would have afforded us time to plan to support those who will now suffer.

“I simply can’t understand why Thanet is treated so appallingly.”

Tier 4 explained – what is closed, who you can meet, Christmas and where you can travel

8 Comments

  1. It would help more if people didn’t come to Thanet wherether for the day or spending days in air B&Bs they may not be carriers but for the safety of Thanet residents. Yesterday Saturday there was visitors in the town. If you are local you wouldn’t take photos or looking around for food or other activities this may be one reason why Kent as a whole is in this situation.

    • There is an airbnb premises near me which has continued to trade all through the pandemic from March onwards in breach of regulations at times. It is still going even though the police have been told several times. The trouble here lies with lack of enforcement in Kent by the chief of police Alan Pughsley stating he has given his officers orders to be relaxed about breaches. One of the main reasons why Kent and Thanet now being in the highest tier now, unlike other areas of the country where enforcement is more serious.

  2. Our COVID Ambassadors and COVID Street Wardens have no powers. They advise only. Can you believe it? Food businesses are out on their own in insisting that COVID safety measures are carried out. When I or one of my teams only allow 3 members in one of our Food Clubs and insist on masks being worn…….. we can get abuse and push back. This is unacceptable . We have signs up, we remind members and yet some people still put all of us at increased risk.

    The only way out of this is for us to work together. As an individual I realise there are more and more issues that we need to come together to deal with. Our inter connectivity becomes more important every day.

    The supply of food, our future weather , pollution and the quality of our environment, even the safety of the air we breathe are all matters I cannot sort out for myself.

    Those people who claim special privileges for themselves can expect a more rigorous response in future.

    Government also needs to improve. Passing the buck has to stop. Whose responsibility is the creation of these long queues of lorries in Kent? The need for COVID safety measures, toilets, food provision and bathrooms is huge and immediate.

    I willl be asking some tough questions next time I get to vote about what the candidates are actually going to do. Are they willing to get off the fence, stop trying to be all things to all people and to act in our best interests rather than just argue amongst themselves.? It seems pretty obvious to me that there are some things we all need done and providing clear rules for how we behave in essential shops where we all have to go,with enforcement powers and toilets for the lorry drivers are good places to start. What chance anything will improve tomorrow? Yes, tomorrow! We have let our expectations slip. We should expect more anD better and faster.

  3. In Australia an ‘Air America’ Crew (infected with the new strain of covid virus) partied for several days and nights, thus spreading it.
    The Australian Government has now organised that future American Flight Crew will be locked in their Hotels (2 hotels chosen) in Sydney and will not be let out until their return flights. If they try to leave the hotels for any other reason, they will be locked in their rooms.
    Is there a message here? Should not all visiting Air Crew be thoroughly covid tested before letting them loose on our population.

  4. Thank you for this data IOTN, the age demographics are v interesting and I really welcome these additional insights as it is v important to have access to actual data.

  5. KCC, YOUR TRYING FOR EXTRA GRANTS FOR KENT. PERHAPS YOU COULD CONTACT TDC AND GET THE ONES OUT THAT ARE ALREADY OFFERED.IM A MARGATE PUBLICAN THAT HAS ONLY TRADED FOR 12 WEEKS SINCE FIRST LOCKDOWN STILL WAITING FOR THE £1300 GRANT. THE BORIS WET LED GRANT AND TIER GRANT ARE NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL 11TH JANUARY TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE OTHER DISTRICTS ARE ALREADY PAYING THESE GRANT.WE IN THANET ARE ON OUR KNEES BUT ONCE AGAIN TDC ARE NOT UP TO THE JOB TO GET US THE HELP WE NEED KNOW NOT NEXT FEBRUARY WHEN THERE GOING TO PAY OUT. LOTS OF OUTLETS ARE STRUGGLING AND WILL BE LUCKY TO SURVIVE WITHOUT THE HELP KNOW.

  6. Craig Mackinlay is “unmoved that they’re the answer.”
    I suppose he means “unconvinced”.
    How does he think we should fight CV?
    Maybe he thinks we should ignore it, and it will go away?

Comments are closed.