Published: Tuesday, 30th June 2020

Medway's Director of Public Health has issued a statement regarding a table reported in the media showing areas in England where the number of reported COVID-19 cases has increased in the past 2 weeks

Although new cases of people infected with COVID-19 have been reducing across the country, the virus is still in circulation. This means there is the potential for sporadic cluster outbreaks to occur. Together with all our health partners, we review data on a daily basis to monitor and identify any trends or patterns of virus spread.

There is no comparison to be made between the rates of new cases currently occurring in Medway and areas such as Leicester.  A local lockdown has been introduced in Leicester because 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week were recorded in the city. The number of positive coronavirus cases in Leicester is three times higher than the next highest city and Medway is much lower than this.

As of Monday, 29 June, the total number of cases in Medway, recorded throughout the pandemic, stood at 809 and the rate did not exceed the expected number of cases for the area. We have seen just 28 new cases in the past two weeks.

We have a robust process in place linked to NHS test and trace and our local NHS laboratories to support and protect the people of Medway. This enables us to identify any specific issues related to a location, organisation or individual. The small increase in numbers seen over the last two weeks have been as a result of proactive testing, conducted with identified individuals. Everyone who tested positive has received appropriate advice and support. We have not seen any evidence of any widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Medway.

There are currently no plans to introduce any lockdowns specifically in Medway. Should, however, the need arise, we will not hesitate to take further steps should it be necessary. 

Today we will be publishing the Kent and Medway Local Outbreak Control plan. This plan sets out the actions we will take to manage any surge in cases or local incidents. 

It is very important that everyone understands the need to work together as a community to stop this disease spreading. Whilst we welcome the gradual moves to relax some of the lockdown measures,  it is critical that everyone in Medway continues to remain alert and takes action to prevent the spread of the virus to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

All residents are reminded to follow the government guidance. Please protect yourself and others by sticking to social distancing guidelines. Wash your hands regularly. Stay at home and get tested if you develop any of the coronavirus symptoms. This is particularly important this weekend as pubs and restaurants reopen. Please act responsibly and protect others at all times.   

James Williams

Medway Council's Director of Public Health

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