Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

  1. You can access information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS website.
  2. If you think you might have symptoms you should go to the NHS 111 on line questionnaire page
  3. Further advice and guidance is available at the Kent County Council website

Extracts from Messages from Director of Public Health, Kent County Council:

The situation is fast moving and changing daily:

Last Monday (24th February 2020), the case definitions were widened to reflect a localised spread in specific villages in Northern Italy, specific areas in South Korea, plus Iran together with the existing areas in Asia and China (please see the NHS website below for the definitive case definition, maps etc).

As of today (2nd March 2020 9am) we have one confirmed case in Kent; that person has travelled from Italy, all close contacts are being contact traced by our local Public Health England team and advised on appropriate further actions. Nationally there has been 13,525 people tested, 13,485 are negative and 40 are positive.

This information is being published daily at around 2pm here:

PHE also maintain an informative online blog which is available here.

The recommended source of information for the public is now on the NHS website which is here:

People who think they may have symptoms are being pointed to the NHS-111 on-line questionnaire in the first instance, which can be found here:


Public Health England (PHE) continue to provide regular updates on the virus, which provide the most up-to-date and authoritative advice.

Significantly, we should all should continue to promote good infection control as this is the single most important thing we can all do in order to slow down transmission of the virus. These are simple things we can all do to reduce the risk of respiratory and other infections such as seasonal colds and flu such as:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Recent days and weeks have brought considerable concerns for a number of residents and communities touched in some way by impacts from the virus at home and abroad. Our public health and emergency planning arrangements in Kent will continue to pull together our hardworking staff, partners and Members to mitigate and minimise impacts from the outbreak wherever possible.


Further Update from Public Health England issued 3rd March:

  • The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that as of 9am 3 March a total of 13,911 people have been tested in the UK, of which 13,860 negative and 51 positive. DHSC will be publishing updated data  on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice. Please note, there was an error in today’s tweet that named Kent as one of the areas where there is another case – this is not correct – there remains only one case in Kent, which was announced yesterday.
  • Today (3 March) the Government launched the official COVID-19 Action Plan and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, made a statement to Parliament.
  • Make sure you regularly check the Campaign Resource Centre for the latest available materials.
  • DfE has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions.
  • Once we become aware of a confirmed case, PHE comms will develop a joint statement with the relevant local authority to issue to media (see Kent example attached). Ideally, this will be issued by the local authority and media interviews will be handled by the Director of Public Health. This statement can be released after the CMO has officially announced the case (on the DHSC Twitter feed), which usually happens daily at 2pm and names the county where the cases are from.
  • Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_SouthEast

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