The number of coronavirus cases in Dover has nearly doubled in just seven days.
There were a total of 26 new cases in the district in the last week on record, up from just 15 the week before.
This is because the Delta variant, previously known as the Indian variant, is causing an increase in most of Kent.
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Dover had previously been one of the last parts of the county to detect cases of the Delta variant.
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The strain is believed to be much more transmissible and potentially more serious.
Early analyzes suggest that unvaccinated people are twice as likely to end up in hospital as the previously dominant Alpha (Kent) variant.
It is also believed that vaccines are less effective against it.
The latest data from Public Health England, however, shows that there were at least five suspected cases of the variant in Dover in the week to June 4.
This number was about half of the samples fully sequenced to verify which variant it was.
The previous week, two-thirds of the positive samples tested were the Delta variant.
This means that most of the new cases in Dover are now the Delta variant.
In Dover, the official government map shows the places with most new cases of COVID are Deal East (5), Kingsdown & St Margaret’s (5), Buckland and St Radigunds (4), Dover East (3) and Walmer (3).
In more positive news, the region’s infection rate remains well below that of previous peaks.
According to the latest data, only 26.2 per 100,000 people have tested positive for the virus within a week.
In other words, one in 3,817 Dover residents contracted COVID-19 in the week leading up to June 4.
The bad news is that before the Delta variant spread, the virus had been nearly eradicated, with Dover’s infection rate in single digits for several weeks.
There are also encouraging signs that the increase in numbers is not yet translating into more hospital admissions or deaths in Kent.
However, there is often a significant time lag and the picture will become clearer in the coming weeks.