Published: 18:29, 20 November 2021
| Updated: 13:14, 21 November 2021
New Covid cases in Kent are set to hit a 10-month high as the county's infection rate soars above the national average.
Figures published this afternoon reveal there have been 6,656 positive tests recorded in just one week - an increase of 38%.
Kent's infection rate is now above the national average
A further 1,135 new cases were also reported in Medway over the same period, to November 15.
Worryingly, early numbers for the days that followed show the rate will continue to rise to levels not seen since January.
Case are rising fastest in Dover, which has recorded a 75% jump in a week.
But it's in Sevenoaks that the rate is highest, with 554 cases per 100,000 people - way above the national average of 403.
In fact, eight of Kent's 12 districts, as well as Medway, now have a rate higher than England's.
The lowest is in Folkestone and Hythe, although cases there are still up 41% in a week.
Nine areas of Kent now have a higher infection rate than the national average
The numbers will come as a concern to health officials, with Kent's hospitals seeing more patients in their A&E departments than ever before.
On Tuesday, there were 160 patients in the county with the virus, with the total falling for the second consecutive week.
But with Covid rates spiking across Kent that number will almost certainly rise as December approaches.