Students are skewing local Covid infection rates

Students are skewing local Covid infection rates
Coronavirus Update

Chief Executive to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, William Benson, says in a briefing from Kent County Council, the large increase in infection rates experienced in the borough is being partly attributed to students not having registered to a new GP in their university area.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “Apparently part of the increase in cases is associated with educational and care settings and a number of tests relate to students who have left Tunbridge Wells for university but not changed GPs so their test is related back to the GP district, rather than where they actually live.”

A number of other cases in Tunbridge Wells are being attributed to people in ‘care settings’ according to KCC’s director of public health, Andrew Scott-Clark, rather than people in the wider community.

The revelation comes following a sharp rise in Covid rates over the last three weeks.

During September, there were fewer than 20 positive cases each week being registered by Public Health England in Tunbridge Wells.

But for the seven days to October 10, 82 new cases of the virus were reported, raising the rate per 100,000 people to 69.1 – the second highest in Kent.

Tonbridge & Malling has also seen a sharp uptick in Covid infections with 70 cases reported to Public Health England in the week ending October 10, and there has been a similar spike in Sevenoaks, where 91 infections were reported over seven days, taking the rate per 100,000 people to 75.4 – the highest in Kent.

It is thought a similar reason could be behind the rises in both these areas too.

The news comes after the Government introduced its tier system for local areas, where it will introduce stiffer restrictions for locations with high Covid rates.

On Thursday, London was put into the high tier, meaning the meeting of people from different households indoors is now forbidden.

Kent remains in the medium tier, where the ‘rule of six’ still applies indoors and out.

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