Published: 11:17, 14 November 2020
| Updated: 11:18, 14 November 2020
The coronavirus infection rate in one area on The Isle of Sheppey is currently higher than anywhere else in the county, according to latest Government figures.
Minster North is recording a seven-day rolling rate of 688.8 per 100,000 population - three times higher than Liverpool which was placed under tighter restrictions ahead of the latest national lockdown.
The figure indicates a high prevalence of Covid-19 in that part of the Island and further explains why Thistle Hill Academy announced it was to bring in a two-week 'circuit-breaker' to help reduce rates affecting the community.
Children are not expected to return to the Stour Academy Trust school until Monday, November 30.
Pupils will be taught remotely and those who receive free school meals will be provided with a home-delivered hamper.
Thanet's Nethercourt, Pegwell and Cliffsend area registered 618.7 cases per 100,000 population, making it Kent's second most affected area in terms of infection rates.
Thanet is still the county's worst-affected borough with 343.1 cases per 100,000 with Swale - which includes Sittingbourne and Sheppey - 297.2 in comparison.
At the opposite end of the scale, wards across Kent with the lowest rates per 100,000 population are Thanington and Chartham (37.1); Folkestone Central (41.9); Hildenborough (44.1); Lyminge, Densole and Elham (46.9); Tonbridge Town (47.8) and Herne Bay Parade (49.6).
KentOnline revealed yesterday that the county's hospitals are now treating 10 times more coronavirus patients than a month ago.
According to NHS Trusts, demand on hospital beds is growing as infection rates climb and absence rates among healthcare staff are also rising as more professionals miss work with Covid-related illness or self-isolation.
Figures from November 4 show 363 employees were unable to work - 77% higher than on October 4.
However, while infection rates are high - largely explained by increased testing - the number of people becoming seriously ill with the virus remains comparably low with 142 patients in hospital on November 5 compared to 570 on April 20.
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