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Council Leader Roger Truelove warns that we cannot be complacent as Swale’s rate of infection falls

Published Thursday 18 March, 2021
Last updated on Friday 19 March, 2021

The leader of Swale Borough Council is warning local people not to be complacent about the number of new coronavirus cases.

In Swale, in the week to 11 March, the number of positive cases per 100,000 people was 44.0, up 2.0 from the week before. This is the second highest in Kent, and well above the county average of 28.6.

The latest positivity rate for symptom-free tests is 1.07%, the highest of all Kent districts, and almost twice the Kent average of 0.59%.

Whilst significantly down from when the borough had the highest number of cases per 100,000 in the country a few months ago, there is the danger that cases could again rocket if people relax too much.

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council, said:

“It took a national lockdown for our figures to come down to this level, and whilst the vaccine rollout is going well, we simply can’t afford to be complacent.

“We all need to carry on following the national directions, and keep ourselves and others safe, if we want to gradually enjoy the relaxations the government has set out in its roadmap.

“We’ve recently seen schools reopen, and we will soon be allowed to meet up outside with others, albeit with restrictions. The effect of these changes won’t be seen for up to a month later, and we don’t want to risk the dates being delayed because we are stretching the rules.

“Our public health colleagues are encouraging everyone to take regular symptom-free tests, twice a week, so we can try to prevent cases spiralling upwards again.

“Households where there are children in school can pick up home testing kits, and local businesses have been invited to carry out workplace testing to keep their workforce, and their families, safe.

“The vaccines do give us hope and are helping us see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we aren’t there yet, and it will take us longer to get there if we don’t make sure we are doing all we can to get this virus under control.”

To book a symptom-free test, visit www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest.

If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss or change in taste or smell – you should NOT visit a symptom free testing site and you should continue to self-isolate. You can book a symptomatic test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

If you live in a household, or are in a support or childcare bubble with children attending school that includes primary, secondary or college pupils or staff, you can get twice-weekly tests by:

There is more information, including where your nearest collection point is, at www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff

Businesses can order rapid tests for employees at www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.

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