Since the August update, our area has been hit by a very severe second wave. Numbers of cases had been rising in October which led to the second national lockdown on 5 November. At the time the rate in the 3 wards that make up Hartley/Longfield/New Ash Green was 124 per 100,000 while nationally the rate was 247. However by the time the lockdown ended on 2 December, this had been reversed, nationally the rate was 151, but the rate for our area had risen to 253. The rising rates in Kent led the county to be put into the new Tier 3 restrictions, but the new variant meant these were insufficient. By the time the county moved to the new Tier 4 on 20 December, the rate for the Hartley/Longfield/New Ash Green Area had risen to 678. Even so the numbers continued to rise rapidly and did not peak until 2 January when the rate for this area was 1,184. In Hartley the figure that day was 1,245 cases per 100,000. The 3rd national lockdown began on 5 January.
Sadly the increased number of cases has led to more hospitalisations and deaths. For most of the first half of January over half the beds at Darent Valley were occupied by Covid patients. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our health service staff. In our area there have been 30 deaths due to Covid in the three months of December to February.
On a more positive note the vaccine rollout locally has gone well. The latest figures to 28 March show that 74% of the adults in Longfield and Southfleet have had at least one vaccination. For Hartley and Hodsoll Street the figure is 72%, while for New Ash Green with a younger population, the figure is 63%. Again this would not have been possible without the amazing work of our NHS staff and the many volunteers at the vaccination centres.
Case rates in Hartley, Longfield and New Ash Green Oct 20 - Mar 21