Medway replaces Swale as the worst affected coronavirus hotspot in the country – Kent Live

Medway has overtaken Swale to record the highest coronavirus infection rate in Kent.

Medway‘s rate of 581.6 cases per 100,000 people is also now the highest in the country as Christmas approaches.

The area recorded 1,620 new cases in the week leading up to November 30, meaning it was able to overtake Swale, which now sits second with a rate of 567.7.

The news comes on the same day that the army announced they would be setting up three COVID lateral testing centres in the area.

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Across the rest of the county, infection rates have sadly increased in every area except Thanet, Gravesham, Dartford and Sevenoaks.

Chillingly, six areas of Kent – Swale, Medway, Thanet, Gravesham, Maidstone and Dover – still occupy spots in the top 10 worst performing areas of the entire country.

The current picture in Kent

The list has been calculated by PA, based on Public Health England data published on December 4 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 November 30; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to November 30; rate of new cases in the seven days to November 23; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to November 23.

Areas highlighted in bold have recorded week on week increases.

Medway, 581.6, (1620), 449.5, (1252)

Swale, 567.7, (852), 561.7, (843)

Thanet, 443.9, (630), 469.3, (666)

Maidstone, 375.4, (645), 298.0, (512)

Gravesham, 366.6, (392), 393.7, (421)

Dover, 318.3, (376), 300.5, (355)

Dartford, 250.4, (282), 263.8, (297)

Canterbury, 249.7, (413), 225.5, (373)

Tonbridge and Malling, 229.3, (303), 195.2, (258)

Folkestone and Hythe, 215.9, (244), 187.6, (212)

Ashford, 184.6, (240), 130.7, (170)

Sevenoaks, 130.8, (158), 130.8, (158)

Tunbridge Wells, 115.4, (137), 86.8, (103)

Army to set up three rapid test centres in Medway

The news that Medway has become the most infected area in the country comes as the army is called in to establish ‘three COVID lateral flow test centres’ in the Medway towns.

The joint Military Command (South East) has announced that 175 Armed Forces personnel have been settled in the Medway Towns.

The soldiers will be known as the Medway Resilience Unit (MRU) and are in the process of finalising their training before performing rapid ‘point of care testing’.

(Image: KentLive)

Kent County Council’s director of Public Health, Andrew Scott Clark had previously said the army would be drafted in to assist testing due to Kent’s Tier 3 status.

Speaking on November 27, Mr Scott Clark said: “The military will work alongside us, as they do with all major incidents.

“We have had a planning group here with us for a week and we have put in a request to the central government in order to get more resources that we need to do this work.

“It’ll be a big logistical issue that we will have to work through with the support of the military and central government.”

A Medway Resilience Unit soldier displays the testing swab
(Image: Medway Council)

The Commander of Joint Military Command South East said: “We are pleased to announce that the Armed Forces, as part of our contribution to the UK’s fight against Covid-19, will be supporting Medway Council’s lead in the delivery of community targeted testing at several sites across the Medway Towns.

“Our planning team from across the Armed Forces have been engaged with the initial set up of the Medway community targeted testing programme over the past few days.”

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