Published: 16:10, 20 November 2020
| Updated: 16:34, 20 November 2020
The Covid-19 rate of infection in Medway is at its highest level ever, it has been revealed.
People are being urged to act now and follow national guidelines after the seven-day rate of infection hit an all-time high.
Despite the rate of infection in the UK falling – with northern cities seeing a drop in the number of cases after stricter measures were brought in prior to the new national lockdown – Medway’s rate is now at 318.8 per 100,000 residents, above the national average, as of yesterday (Thursday).
National restrictions are in place to reduce day-to-day contact with other people and prevent the spread of infection.
People living in Medway are being reminded they must follow government restrictions, which are currently in place until Wednesday, December 2.
For the latest government guidance and restrictions, visit gov.uk
James Williams, director of public health at Medway Council, said: “We have been closely monitoring the number of cases and are now unfortunately seeing a steady increase in transmission.
"This will of course be extremely worrying news for residents, and that is why it’s important everyone follows the government guidelines. We’ve increased local testing capacity, so anyone who is symptomatic should self-isolate and get themselves tested.
“The national restrictions are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but infection rates will only come down if everyone does their bit.
"Do it for yourself, your family, your friends and neighbours – lives can and will be saved if everyone plays their part.
"By taking action we can prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open and ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work.”
Council leader Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “I cannot stress enough the importance that each and every person living, working and studying in Medway continues to follow the current restrictions in place.
"If the rate of infection continues to increase rapidly, not only will lives tragically be lost, but we will face even tighter restrictions locally in the future.
"Coronavirus has affected us all and the year has only got more challenging, but we need to take action now to ensure we can all get back to doing the things we love and so dearly miss.
“The people of Medway have shown great resilience this year and I’d like to thank everyone for acting on the government’s guidelines.
"It remains a concerning time for our businesses and our Trading Standards team has offered advice and support to local business people. They will, however, take action against those found flouting the rules and are continuing to work closely with Kent Police to enforce the national restrictions.
"We will continue to do all we can to support our residents and businesses and reduce the spread of coronavirus in Medway.”
The news comes as it's reported neighbouring Swale is among the hardest hit boroughs in England.
Earlier this week, we reported how was battling with increasing numbers of patients.
If you have a coronavirus symptom, self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible, visit: gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test