Published: 15:21, 07 January 2021
| Updated: 18:00, 07 January 2021
Hospitals in Kent have recorded 50 additional coronavirus deaths - the highest number reported in a single day.
It comes as we reveal 1 in 3 patients in Kent have had coronavirus and hospitals across the county struggle to cope with rising numbers of patients.
Of the deaths reported yesterday 30 happened at Medway Maritime Hospital, which cares for patients from the five Medway Towns as well as Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
While all 50 were reported by Kent's health trusts in a 24-hour period they happened at different points over the past weeks.
The figures relate to patients who have tested positive for the virus 28 days before their death.
At Medway, in Gillingham, the 30 deaths reported happened from New Years Eve, with a peak of nine on January 4.
There were 10 at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, spanning five days in the middle of December, one at Kent Community Healthcare - which cares for patients in their homes and at cottage hospitals, and nine at East Kent Hospitals - four on January 4 and five on January 5.
In Kent, which went into the second national lockdown with a relatively low rate of Covid-19 only for it to rise exponentially during, there are 1,256 patients in hospital with the virus.
That is significantly more than during the first wave.
There are 60 patients on ventilators in the county, which is not as many as there were in April but is rising.
But hospitals are struggling to cope, culminating in some patients being sent to other parts of the country.
The figures jumped today from 10 yesterday, so some of that rise can be attributed to a lag in reporting, but with so many still requiring intensive care, fatalities are likely to rise.
Yesterday we reported how the total death toll since the start of the pandemic jumped by 52% in December alone, with the month's total 163% higher than November's.
And despite early signs case numbers in Kent might have been falling over the festive period the latest figures show numbers in the week to January 1 rose by 22.5% in Kent and 29% in Medway.
Health minister Lord Bethell yesterday suggested deaths were likely to continue rising due to high case numbers and hospital admissions.
The picture from the start
Across the county, there have been 100,234 cases confirmed as of 4pm yesterday - up 2,278 since the previous day. Sadly, 2,799 people in Kent and Medway have died.
In Kent, there have been 80,911 cases and 2,272 deaths. Medway has confirmed 19,323 Medway cases and 477 deaths in all settings.
In total, Medway Maritime has reported 555 deaths. This is higher than the total in the Towns because the hospital also serves Swale.
East Kent Hospitals previously had difficulty containing the virus across its hospitals in Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet during the first wave - leading to a damning CQC report. In total, 863 people have lost their lives with coronavirus at the trust.
Elsewhere, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has reported a total of 389 deaths.
At Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust (MTW), 218 people have died.
There have been 80 deaths reported by Kent Community Health Trust which predominantly looks after people in their homes.
Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust has reported one death.
There have also now been three deaths at Sheppey Community Hospital and one at Dartford's Livingstone Community Hospital, which are managed by Virgin Care Services Ltd.
Families have paid tribute to their loved ones who have sadly lost their fight against Covid-19 on our memorial page.