Only two places in the whole country have a higher Covid rate than Basildon, according to the latest figures.
Basildon’s current infection rate stands at 433.8 per 100,000 residents – the equivalent of 812 new cases in the seven days up to December 5.
That’s up from 567 new cases in the previous seven days, an infection rate of 302.9.
Only Medway and Swale in Kent, with infection rates of 602.4 and 619.7 respectively, have higher rates in England.
The news only adds to the concerns expressed by Basildon Council that they could be moved into Tier 3 when the system is reviewed on December 16.
If the borough is moved into the highest tier, it is not yet clear whether the rest of the county will follow suit.
Lateral Flow Tests, the rapid tests offering results in 30 minutes, have now been rolled out in Basildon – the first in the whole of Essex.