Kent County COVID-19 infections have surged since the holiday season that began just before Thanksgiving, said Kent County Health Officer William Webb in his monthly report to the Kent County Commissioners.

The case count in Kent has risen by 342 since Dec. 7, representing over 40 percent of all the cases in Kent since the pandemic began. Six deaths have also occurred since Dec. 7 and there are currently 88 active cases. 

“We’re in the thick of it. It is very prevalent in the community,” Webb said in his Jan. 12 presentation to the Commissioners. “It is acute as it has ever been.”

He said the surge statewide began around Nov. 18 and that Kent’s numbers have coincided with the state for the most part. 

Where Kent does better than the state is in the infection rate. Kent sits at 5.9 percent and the state is currently well over 8 percent. Where Kent does worse compared to the state is the number of cases per 100,000 of population. Kent’s rate is 64 cases per 100,000 compared to the state’s 52.

Webb said the surge has exceeded the statistics that hit the state hardest in April and May.

He expressed concern about the spike in hospitalizations with the state reaching an all-time of 1,900 on Monday.

“Hospitalizations are one of the most fundamental metrics we are watching,” he said. “We do not want our hospital systems to be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.”

But he assured the Commissioners that for now the hospital here has enough available beds for patients in the “ICU” and “acute” stages of infection.

“I’m confident Shore Regional Health has a very robust surge plan in place,” he said.

Webb urged residents to stay home if possible and continue to follow safety precautions.