Home Kent News Kent COVID: Compulsory masks could return as deaths steadily climb

Kent COVID: Compulsory masks could return as deaths steadily climb

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Original article from Kent Live

Mandatory face coverings could return if COVID-19 cases surge to an autumn spike.

Adults could once again be told to wear face masks in indoor settings, as the UK's second major spike in the summer of 2021 hasn't gone away.

This has meant the resting point of COVID-19 infection rates are around 10 times higher than they were in April 2021 – with the average case rate for the South East sitting at over 300 cases per 100,000.

Read more: University of Kent scientist predicts worrying flu resurgence this winter

Boris Johnson is reportedly “adamant”, however, that a nationwide lockdown will not be reinstated thanks to the impact of the vaccination programme.

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Statistics show that 89% of the UK have now received their first dose of the vaccine and 80% of the population have also received their second dose.

However, key indicators of how hard infection rates are actually hitting the population are not looking quite as positive.

Though the upward trend is substantially slower than it has been at earlier points in the pandemic, the number of people relying on ventilators to breathe in hospital is now at it's highest point since March – with over 1000 people relying on the machines.

Deaths have seen a similarly steady but sure uptick, with 135 people dying over the last 7 days as a result of the disease.

Masks could become mandatory again if cases keep rising

Again, this is over 10 times higher than was the case 4 months ago on May 11, when just 20 people had died in the preceding week.

Infections across the south east of England are at 318 cases per 100,000 people, with over 29,000 infections recorded across the region in the last week.

However, the south east as a whole is the third least infected part of the UK, behind only London and the East of England.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce his plan for avoiding a full lockdown including the introduction of COVID jab boosters next week

He is also expected to reveal that the biggest ever flu jab campaign will be rolled out at the same time.

Among contingency measures that could be deployed to avoid pubs and schools having to shut again are also reportedly offices closing again and a return of some social distancing rules

An official spokesman for Mr Johnson told the Guardian that the nation should be ready for the NHS to face a “difficult time” this winter.

Mask mandates are likely be one of the first measures reinstated should infection rates rise alarmingly.

Cases haven't dropped off after this summer's peak – and it looks like a new and much higher resting level of infections is here to stay.

Downing Street are said to see the move as preferable to reimposing social distancing rules because it has less of a direct impact on the economy, reports The Daily Telegraph.

COVID restriction laws are also being extended until next spring, meaning that fines could return for people who ignore orders to wear masks in certain settings.

This comes as (92%) of local areas in the UK have seen a week-on-week rise in infection rates.

Original Article