Original article from Kent Live
Coronavirus infection rates have remained below the national average in every part of the county – though cases are still on the rise in the majority of areas.
This follows the national trend of cases spiking upwards, as the new Delta variant spreads and displaces the once-dominant Alpha (Kent) strain of the virus.
Though it is believed to be more infectious, there is little concrete information on whether the Delta variant is more dangerous.
However its spread has already seen reopening plans delayed in England.
Gravesham is the county's new coronavirus hotspot, recording 61 cases in the last seven days. The area has a rate of 57 infections per 100,000 people.
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The national average for England currently sits at 77.4 cases per 100,000 people, with the majority of local authorities reporting rises in cases.
Kent's most infected areas are substantially lower than the average – with Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Dartford and Tonbridge & Malling all recording between 47 and 45 cases per 100,000 people.
However, government data shows infections are now at their highest point since March.
The last time cases were trending upwards at the current rate was late September 2020.
With the Delta variant posing questions about the efficacy of single-jab immunisation, efforts to accelerate the vaccine rollout have been taken – with all adults being offered the vaccine for the first time this week.
On a positive note, more than half of Kent's districts are sitting at less than half the national average infection rate – with Thanet and Folkestone & Hythe recording just a handful of new cases.
Cases have also dropped sharply in Canterbury, which was recently one of the county's most infected places.
Kent's latest coronavirus infection rates in full
The list below has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on June 18 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
Here is the list in full. From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to June 14; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to June 14; rate of new cases in the seven days to June 7; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to June 7.
Areas marked in bold have recorded an increase.
Gravesham, 57.0, (61), 41.1, (44)
Maidstone, 47.1, (81), 19.2, (33)
Sevenoaks, 46.4, (56), 36.4, (44)
Dartford, 46.2, (52), 48.8, (55)
Tonbridge and Malling, 45.4, (60), 18.9, (25)
Medway, 41.3, (115), 41.3, (115)
Tunbridge Wells, 29.5, (35), 21.9, (26)
Canterbury, 26.6, (44), 45.3, (75)
Ashford, 24.6, (32), 16.1, (21)
Dover, 22.0, (26), 17.8, (21)
Swale, 20.0, (30), 8.7, (13)
Thanet, 16.2, (23), 9.9, (14)
Folkestone and Hythe, 15.0, (17), 20.4, (23)