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Increase in positive COVID tests continues

1 July 2022

The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase across the UK in the week ending 24 June 2022.

The increases are likely to be caused by increases in infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

The estimated number of people in the community population testing positive was:

  • 1,829,100 (1 in 30 people) in England

  • 106,000 (1 in 30 people) in Wales

  • 71,000 (1 in 25 people) in Northern Ireland

  • 288,200 (1 in 18 people) in Scotland

The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase across the UK in the week ending 24 June 2022

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID on nose and throat swabs, 27 June 2021 to 24 June 2022

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Source: Office for National Statistics – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey

Download data on COVID-19 infections across the UK (XLSX, 45 KB)

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COVID-19 death rate highest in London in 2021

1 July 2022

With 153.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021, London had the highest age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR) for deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19) across the English regions and Wales.

The South West of England had the lowest ASMR, at 69.4 deaths per 100,000 people (4,692 deaths), statistically significantly lower than any other region.

There were 67,350 deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales in 2021 (11.5% of all deaths). In Wales, the ASMR was 106.6 deaths per 100,000 people, statistically significantly lower than in England where the rate was 114.0 deaths per 100,000 people.

Diabetes was the most common pre-existing condition mentioned on death certificates, among deaths due to COVID-19. Of these 14,159 deaths, 82.1% were aged 65 years and over. With 12,911 deaths, the second most common pre-existing condition was hypertensive diseases.

Of all deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales in 2021, 14.2% had no pre-existing conditions mentioned on the death certificate.

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Antibodies against the coronavirus (COVID-19) remained high across UK

29 June 2022

A high percentage of adults in the UK were estimated to have coronavirus (COVID-19) antibodies at or above 179 ng/ml in the week beginning 30 May 2022.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey showed the proportion of adults in each of the four UK countries with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

In the week beginning 30 May 2022, the percentage of people estimated to have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) at or above the antibody level of 179 ng per millilitre (ng/ml):

• 97.6% in England

• 97.4% in Wales

• 97.7% in Northern Ireland

• 97.2% in Scotland

In the same time period, in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland), it was an estimated 95.5% for those aged 12 to 15 years.

The percentage of the population estimated to have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was high for children in Great Britain, in the week beginning 30 May 2022

Modelled percentage of the adult population with levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 at or above 179 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), by age group, UK countries, 7 December 2020 to 5 June 2022

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Data for the percentage of population estimated to have antibodies,(32KB)

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Long COVID most prevalent in education sector workers

29 June 2022

Results from a project funded by ONS, led by Sarah Rhodes (University of Manchester), has found rates of self-reported long-COVID were highest in the education sector between April 2020 to January 2022.

This analysis used a different methodology to existing ONS outputs and results cannot be compared.

Long-COVID rates varied by occupation, with the education, police and protective services, personal care and social care sectors seeing the highest rates. The research adjusted for factors such as age and sex.

The research also investigated whether vaccination uptake accounted for differences in COVID-19 infection rates between occupations. The proportion of people who had received two vaccinations by 31 January 2022 varied by occupation: 9% of workers in the food processing sector were not double vaccinated, compared with 4% of office-based healthcare workers.

However, these differences in vaccination uptake did not explain all the differences in infection rates between occupations. The only exception was among manual workers, where low vaccination uptake did appear to explain the increased relative risks of infection.

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COVID-19 impact fell disproportionately on most deprived

29 June 2022

Results from a project funded by ONS, led by Dr Nazrul Islam (Oxford University), has found the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic fell hardest on people living in the most deprived areas of the UK on key indicators.

This analysis used a different methodology to existing ONS outputs and results cannot be compared. A study examining the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on socio-economic inequalities found those in the most deprived areas were disproportionately affected in terms of employment outcomes, the risk of and outcomes of infection, and the risk of long COVID.

Among the most deprived, a higher proportion of people were unable to work from home (80.6%) compared with the least deprived (62.6%) and were more likely to test positive for the Delta or Omicron variants. Similarly, self-reported hospital admissions following COVID-19 was 6.7% in the most deprived compared with 4.9% in the least deprived.

The project also found the risk of developing long COVID symptoms was higher among the most deprived (11.1%) compared with the least deprived (8.1%).

The study was one of three funded by the Office for National Statistics to use data from our Coronavirus Infection Survey in new analysis.

Read our summary results from the Coronavirus Infection Survey funding bids

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Deaths involving COVID-19 fall slightly

28 June 2022

There were 309 deaths registered in the UK involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in the week ending 17 June 2022, which is slightly fewer than the previous week. This accounted for around 1 in every 40 deaths (2.5%).

There were 12,320 total deaths registered in the UK in the latest week, which is 15.3% above the five-year average.

In England and Wales, the number of deaths in the week to 17 June was above the five-year average in private homes, hospitals and care homes, but slightly below in other settings.

Total deaths from all causes were above the five-year average

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 17 June 2022

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Data for deaths registered by week in England and Wales, (XLS, 30KB)

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” was mentioned on the death certificate. More information is available in our weekly figures by local authority and health board.

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Most school pupils in England had COVID-19 antibodies by March 2022

27 June 2022

Almost all primary and secondary school pupils in England had detectable levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in March 2022.

Adjusted antibody data from the Schools Infection Survey, for March to April 2022, showed that more than 99% of secondary school pupils had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, comprised of 64.9% who were vaccinated and 34.4% who were unvaccinated.

For primary school pupils, 82.0% had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, based on adjusted figures. This is comprised of 0.4% who were vaccinated and 81.6% who were unvaccinated.

The percentage of pupils testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies increased significantly for both primary school and secondary school pupils between Round 1 of testing (10 November to 10 December) and Round 2 (10 January to 3 February), and again between Round 2 and Round 3.

In Round 1 (10 November to 10 December), 40.1% of primary school pupils had SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels above the limit of detection, after adjusting for sensitivity and specificity. This increased to 62.4% in Round 2 (10 January to 3 February).

For secondary school pupils in Round 1, 82.4% had SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels above the limit of detection. This increased to 96.6% in Round 2.

Antibody testing in Round 3 took place while coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in England were increasing, especially among school aged children, because of the Omicron variant. It is likely that antibody prevalence is higher in Round 3 than Round 2 because of both this increase in community infections and the continuing vaccination programme for secondary school-aged pupils.

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Around one-quarter of British adults still social distancing

24 June 2022

Around one-quarter (27%) of adults in Great Britain reported always or often maintaining social distancing when meeting up with others outside their household.

When asked about other preventative measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) and other illnesses they had taken over the last seven days, three-quarters (75%) said they had always or often washed their hands immediately after returning home from a public place.

Around 4 in 10 (38%) said they had worn a face covering at some point when outside their home.

In general, almost one-third (32%) of adults said they were worried about the effect that COVID-19 was having on their lives, and around 4 in 10 (41%) were worried about new variants.

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Overseas visits to the UK show signs of bouncing back

24 June 2022

The number of visits to the UK in April 2022 was 27 times higher than in April the previous year, 2.1 million visits.

But those visits to the UK were still down significantly on pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels; a drop of 33% from 3.2 million in April 2019.

Provisional passenger traffic data also showed an increase in spending in the UK by overseas visitors. At £1.7 billion, it was 14 times greater than April 2021, when many travel restrictions were in place.

There was also an increase in the number of UK residents travelling overseas in April 2022, 20 times more than in April 2021.

They made 5.6 million visits abroad, spending £4.1 billion. This is a 20-fold increase on April 2021.

The number of visits overseas by UK residents is yet to return to April 2019 levels. In April 2022, there were 5.6 million overseas visits, compared with 8.4 million in April 2019 – a drop of 33%.

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COVID-19 fell to sixth most common cause of death in May

22 June 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the sixth leading cause of death in England and Wales in May 2022, accounting for 3.3% of deaths in both countries. In April 2022, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death.

The most common cause of death in May 2022 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England, and ischaemic heart disease in Wales.

Accounting for the population size and structure, the age-standardised mortality rate for deaths due to COVID-19 fell between April and May 2022, from 56.0 deaths per 100,000 people down to 31.3 in England, and from 58.4 deaths per 100,000 people down to 33.3 in Wales.

Overall, the number of deaths registered in May 2022 was above the five-year average in both England and Wales. There were 45,526 deaths from all causes registered in England, which was 15.6% above the five-year average. In Wales, there were 2,992 deaths registered, which was 12.4% above the five-year average.

The five-year average uses deaths registrations from 2016 to 2019, and from 2021. More information on why we have removed 2020 from the five-year average is in the 'calculating excess deaths' section of our full monthly mortality bulletin.

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Also published recently

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Glossary

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User requests

We continue to respond to data requests from the public, media and government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Responses are published in our list of user requested data.

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View all data used in this article

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