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The four areas in Kent where the Covid-19 infection rate is on the rise


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New Covid-19 cases are rising in four areas of Kent despite the county's infection rate remaining much lower than the UK's.

Maidstone, Gravesham, Medway, and Tonbridge and Malling, have all seen an increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus.

New Covid-19 cases are rising in four areas of Kent
New Covid-19 cases are rising in four areas of Kent

In the week up to September 21, Gravesham reported 22 new cases, compared to 10 the week before - an increase of 120%.

In the Tonbridge and Malling area, cases jumped from 11 to 20 over the same period.

Elsewhere, Medway recorded 33 cases - up from 21 - and Maidstone a rise of six, from eight to 14.

This new data appears to show a shift in the county's Covid 'hotspots'.

Previously, towns in the east of Kent had recorded high numbers, with Ashford among the three worst in England in May.

This graph shows the Covid-19 infections up to September 21 for Kent
This graph shows the Covid-19 infections up to September 21 for Kent

The rate of infection for the UK currently stands at 41.9 weekly cases per 100,000 people.

In Gravesham, which currently has the highest infection rate in Kent, this number is 20.57 - half the national figure.

The county as a whole has a rate of 8.77 - less than a quarter of the UK rate.

Cases have fallen in Swale, Dartford, Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe, Thanet, Sevenoaks, and Dover, which has Kent's lowest rate at 2.54.

The county's director of public health, Andrew Scott-Clark, says there is no room for complacency as authorities continue to monitor the figures for potential outbreaks.

He said: "We saw an increase in cases with children returning to school and some people returning to workplaces and, as students now go back to university, all partners across Kent - including local authorities, Public Health England and the NHS - will continue working together to carefully monitor where cases are occurring and whether there are larger widespread community outbreaks.

"Although Kent is currently below the England average, we appeal to residents to carry on playing their part to help protect themselves and others, particularly the most vulnerable members of the community who are most at risk from severe symptoms."

Today, the NHS Track and Trace app was launched after months of delays and will alert users if they have come into contact with anyone who later tests positive for the disease.

Also today, Kent Police urged University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church students to 'act responsibly' amid Freshers Week.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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