New government data has shown coronavirus cases are on the rise in Kent, with seven of our 13 districts experiencing increased infection rates.
It comes just a day after the nation recorded zero deaths from the virus.
The previous hot spot and the location of the new surge testing site, Canterbury, have seen COVID-19 cases drop slightly, while Dartford cases have more than doubled in the past seven days.
The number has dropped from 12.5 cases per 100,000 people to a rate of 33.7 per 100,000, which is higher than the national average.
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Elsewhere, Dover and Medway have seen equally large proportional peaks, while Folkestone and Hythe have five times as many cases as at the same time last week.
The latter’s increase from 3.5 cases to 17.8 per 100,000 population now means Folkestone is the fourth most affected part of Kent, having previously been the least infected district in the county.
The national average has started to rise again, now reaching 30 cases per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 23.9 recorded on May 1.
These further increases may show the first signs of the impact of widespread rule easing on May 17 on infections, as well as reflect the spread of the Indian variant.
Considered to be more contagious than the Kent variant which emerged late last year, it is understood that new strains of the virus like the Indian variant could make the path to a full reopening of the UK a little less straightforward.
With just over two weeks before the planned end of social distancing on June 21, it remains to be seen whether the government’s plans will change to accommodate these new hikes.
Here is a detailed look at the latest rates of coronavirus infection in Kent.
The full list of the latest Kent infection rates
From left to right, the list below reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 28; number (in brackets) of new cases registered in the seven days prior to May 28; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 21; number (in parentheses) of new cases recorded in the seven days prior to May 21.
Areas with an increase were marked with bold.
Dartford, 33.7, (38), 12.4, (14)
Canterbury, 26.0, (43), 33.9, (56)
Medway, 25.1, (70), 9.7, (27)
Folkestone and Hythe, 17.7, (20), 3.5, (4)
Sevenoaks, 16.6, (20), 14.9, (18)
Swale, 15.3, (23), 9.3, (14)
Gravesham, 14.0, (15), 7.5, (8)
Dover, 13.5, (16), 5.9, (7)
Maidstone, 11.1, (19), 8.7, (15)
Thanet, 8.5, (12), 9.2, (13)
Tonbridge and Malling, 7.6, (10), 11.4, (15)
Ashford, 6.9, (9), 12.3, (16)
Tunbridge Well, 4.2, (5), 6.7, (8)