Published: 13:59, 09 March 2021
| Updated: 21:34, 09 March 2021
Only two areas in Kent have an infection rate low enough to ease restrictions, according to a goal set by the public health director.
Just one area in Kent has seen a rise in cases and the infection rate in another is three times higher than the safe level for easing restrictions.
Kent and Medway's cases are continuing to drop as 757 new cases were recorded on the week ending March 3 - a drop of 29.9% bringing the infection rate down to 40.7.
This is the lowest cases have been since October 7 when 737 cases were recorded in the previous week.
Every area in Kent has seen a drop in cases over the last week except for Gravesham, where a rise of 2.6% has kept the infection rate a steady 74.8 after 80 cases were recorded in the last week.
Gravesham currently has the highest infection rate which is three times higher than Kent County Council's goal of 25 set out as the best rate for easing restrictions.
Andrew Scott-Clark, director of public health in Kent, outlined last month: "We really want to see the case rates as we were in summer where there were around 25 cases per 100,000.
"We need to maintain that and continue to abide by the rules, maintain and reduce our social distancing as much as possible to keep these rates going down in the way they have been.
Last month Andrew Scott-Clark, Kent's director of public health, set out the infection rate of 25 goal for Kent
"The rates have come down, but what I would say to people is that we've got a virus out there that is more transmissible than we've seen in the previous wave so any social interaction beyond the lockdown actually risks the case numbers going up - so we need to be really careful now and hunker down."
Only two areas have an infection rate low enough to be considered safe for eased restrictions as Sevenoaks stands at 24 with cases dropping 43.1% and Tunbridge Wells at 21.1 with cases dropping 57.6%.
Canterbury has the next lowest infection rate at 30.2 with cases dropping 10.7%.
Similarly to case numbers, deaths have not dropped back to their pre-second wave levels.
The week ending March 3 recorded 43 deaths, down from 53 the previous week. November 11 was the last day 43 deaths were recorded as numbers began to climb in the winter.
Despite some lockdown restrictions easing this week to allow children back to school and people to meet outdoors Kent is not completely out of the woods.
And on Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned there would likely be some increase in cases due to the school return.
Last week, the Kent public health director added: “It is great that we are seeing numbers fall but we are getting to the point that even a small local outbreak in a workplace of community setting can make a big difference and this still causes us huge concern for the more vulnerable residents who are at risk of severe symptoms.
“We are revising our outbreak control plans in light of the government announcements and are working with partners across the system to ensure we are ready to manage the easing of restrictions carefully.
“We’d also urge residents to continue getting a symptom-free test at one of the 24 sites across Kent and following the guidance if found positive so they do not unknowingly pass the virus on."