Original article from Kent Live
The spread of coronavirus in Kent is beginning to slow down following steep summer surge in cases.
Folkestone and Hythe, and Swale have both recorded lower numbers of new cases, with infection rates beginning to decline in most other areas.
This decline has also been represented nationally, with coronavirus rates dropping for six consecutive days in England.
However, some experts believe this is due to schools closing for summer, with pupils no longer required to take two lateral flow tests a week.
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The number of deaths have also dropped with 14 being recorded yesterday, down from 21 on the previous Monday.
The fall in cases offer a glimmer of hope that the third wave of the virus may have peaked, but it will be some time before this can be confirmed, the Mirror reports.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said: "This is looking like a reassuring trend, after five days of these falling numbers.
"The fall is much more dramatic than expected. There have been several experts warning of a disaster, but these figures strongly suggest otherwise."
He sounded a note of caution, however, adding: "It's too early to see any signal in the data from freedom day, which may increase transmission, but this data suggests that we are coming out of this wave.
"It's unlikely there will be any further surge from freedom day – if there is, it is likely only to be minor, and to probably last a matter of days."
The two most infected areas in Kent, Dartford and Sevenoaks, have continued to see their cases rise when compared to last week's data, although these increases have also slowed.
Kent's rates in full
From left to right: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to July 22; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to July 22; rate of new cases in the seven days to July 15; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to July 15.
Areas with increased rates are in bold.
Dartford, 527.5, (594), 476.0, (536)
Sevenoaks, 499.4, (603), 435.6, (526)
Tonbridge and Malling, 482.8, (638), 450.2, (595)
Maidstone, 467.3, (803), 427.8, (735)
Medway, 423.3, (1179), 311.6, (868)
Gravesham, 408.6, (437), 390.9, (418)
Swale, 367.1, (551), 399.8, (600)
Tunbridge Wells, 358.0, (425), 292.3, (347)
Folkestone and Hythe, 321.3, (363), 348.7, (394)
Ashford, 304.5, (396), 293.8, (382)
Dover, 237.0, (280), 218.4, (258)
Canterbury, 219.5, (363), 212.2, (351)
Thanet, 182.5, (259), 128.2, (182)