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Covid-19 infection rate in Kent rises amid outbreaks on Isle of Sheppey

Covid-19 outbreaks on the Isle of Sheppey continue to see Kent 's infection rate rise.

Six of the county's 13 districts and boroughs are recording fewer new cases, but a 53% jump in positive tests in Swale means the overall rate is still on the up.

Sheerness has the highest infection rate in Kent
Sheerness has the highest infection rate in Kent

The majority are being recorded on Sheppey, which in places has close to 300 weekly cases per 100,000 people.

That compares to an infection rate of 52.8 for Kent and Medway, which is up 9%.

Earlier this week one Sheppey councillor claimed residents were treating the pandemic like a "joke" and ignoring the Government's coronavirus rules.

Kent County Council’s director of public health, Andrew Scott-Clark, described the situation as "worrying", saying many cases were associated with "residential settings, work-places and secondary schools".

He added: "There may also be some community transmission which is helping the virus to continue to spread."

The situation is worst in the east of Sheerness , where 20 new cases in the week up to October 18 saw its infection rate rise to 299.5 - the county's highest.

The infection rate in Swale is much higher than anywhere else in Kent
The infection rate in Swale is much higher than anywhere else in Kent

Positive tests also doubled in the west of the town and in Queenborough over the same period.

All three areas have none of the island's prisons in them.

The spike has the number of new cases across Swale jump from 105 to 161, leaving the borough with Kent's highest infection rate, at 107.3.

And it could yet rise further when cases since October 18 are accounted for.

Bosses at HMP Swaleside this week confirmed it had 32 cases within the prison , yet the area in which it is located - Sheppey East - recorded only 16 cases in the week up to October 18, according to Public Health England.

Kent's lowest infection rate is in Folkestone at Hythe , at 32.7, although positive tests in the district almost doubled from 19 to 37.

Sevenoaks , Canterbury , Ashford , Gravesham , Tunbridge Wells , and Tonbridge and Malling all recorded fewer cases than in the week before.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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