Latest COVID-19 headlines
- Infections increase in most parts of the UK
- Most fully vaccinated adults likely to take a booster jab
- Over 25,000 excess care resident deaths in England and Wales, 2020
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Infections increase in most parts of the UK
3 December 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections increased in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the most recent week of the Coronavirus Infection Survey. The trend in Wales was uncertain in the most recent week.
Data for England, Scotland and Wales is for the week ending 27 November 2021. In Northern Ireland data is for the week ending 24 November 2021.
To date, we have not identified any infections compatible with the new Omicron variant among our survey participants.
The estimated percentage of people living in private households (not in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments) that had COVID-19 in the most recent week was:
- 1.65% in England (1 in 60 people), compared with 1.58% (1 in 65 people) the week before
- 2.11% in Wales (1 in 45 people), compared with 1.95% (1 in 50 people) the week before
- 2.24% in Northern Ireland (1 in 45 people), compared with 2.03% (1 in 50 people) the week before
- 1.58% in Scotland (1 in 65 people), compared with 1.44% (1 in 70 people) the week before
Infections rose in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the latest week, while the trend was uncertain in Wales
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, UK, 29 November 2020 to 27 November 2021
In England, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased among those aged 2 years to school Year 6 and those aged 35 to 49 years. Positivity rates decreased for those aged 70 years and over.
Most fully vaccinated adults likely to take a booster jab
3 December 2021
About 9 in 10 (90%) adults who have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine said they would be “very likely” or “fairly likely” to have a booster vaccine if offered to them, while 5% said they would be “very unlikely” or “fairly unlikely” to have a booster vaccine if offered.
According to data from the most recent Opinions and Lifestyle Survey around a third (34%) of adults report having had two coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations and a booster.
Over 8 in 10 (84%) adults said they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days, according to data collected between 18 and 28 November 2021 (before new measures against the Omicron variant came into effect).
Most adults reported wearing a face covering while shopping (71%) and on public transport (70%). However , few people had seen most others doing the same (just 19% and 21% in each respective setting).
Fewer than 1 in 10 (7%) adults had been asked to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in the past seven days (excluding for travel abroad).
Over 25,000 excess care resident deaths in 2020 in England and Wales
2 December 2021
COVID-19 was the second highest leading cause of death in both male and female care home residents in England and Wales in 2020.
According to data from the Deaths in the care sector, England and Wales: 2020 release, 17.8% of male deaths in care homes and 14.2% of female deaths were caused by COVID-19. In Wales 19.1% of male deaths and 14.0% of female deaths were caused by COVID-19.
The leading cause of deaths in care homes in 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer's disease in both England and Wales. In England, 26.0% of male deaths and 34.3% of female deaths were caused by the diseases, meanwhile in Wales 26.6% of male deaths and 35.4% female deaths had the same cause.
In England there were 155,376 deaths of care home residents in 2020, which is an increase of 18.5% compared with 2019 (131,149 deaths) and 18.3% compared with the five-year average between 2015 and 2019.
In Wales there were 8,236 deaths of care home residents in 2020, which is an increase of 20.3% compared to 2019 (6,849 deaths) and 17% compared with the five-year average between 2015 and 2019 (7,041 deaths).
Almost 1 in 50 people in the UK living with long COVID
2 December 2021
Around 1.2 million people living in private households in the UK were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of 31 October 2021.
This is around 1.9% of the population and almost 1 in 50 people. This number was roughly the same as it was on 2 October 2021.
Self-reported long COVID occurs when symptoms that are not explained by another health condition continue for more than four weeks after a person’s initial infection.
Of those with self-reported long COVID, more than a third (36%) had (or believed they had) been initially infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) at least one year earlier.
Symptoms limited the daily activities of close to two-thirds (64%) of those who self-reported long COVID. Close to one in five (19%) said their ability to do daily activities had been "limited a lot".
Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) fall in the UK
1 December 2021
The number of deaths from all causes in the UK in the week ending 19 November 2021 was 13,743. This is 16.4% above the average for the corresponding week from 2015 to 2019.
Of all deaths registered in the week ending 19 November, 1,088 involved coronavirus (COVID-19), which is 110 fewer deaths than the previous week. Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for around 1 in 13 deaths (7.9%). UK total deaths include non-residents.
The number of deaths involving COVID-19 fell in England, compared with the previous week, and rose in Wales.
Between 13 March 2020 and 19 November 2021, there have been 127,656 excess deaths above the five-year average in England and Wales; of these, 122,372 were in England and 6,515 were in Wales.
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. Weekly figures are available by local authority and health board.
1 in 50 deaths of homeless people in 2020 involved COVID-19
1 December 2021
There were an estimated 688 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2020, of which 13 (1.9%) involved coronavirus (COVID-19).
The majority of deaths of homeless people involving COVID-19 occurred during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an earlier analysis, which included deaths where the registered address of the deceased was a hotel, [16 deaths of possible homeless people involving COVID-19 were registered up to 26 June 2020].
While the precise numbers are slightly different, both datasets indicate that COVID-19 was not a leading cause of death among homeless people in 2020.
The total number of deaths of homeless people fell in 2020 compared with 2019 (778 deaths); this was the first annual decline since 2014. However, the fall was not statistically significant.
Figures for 2020 may underestimate the true number of deaths of homeless people because of the impact of the Everyone In scheme, which has provided homeless people with emergency accommodation during the pandemic. It is difficult to identify deaths of homeless people housed under this scheme.
Risk of reinfection higher during the Delta-dominant period
1 December 2021
The risk of reinfection was higher in the Delta-dominant period (after 17 May 2021) than during the Alpha-dominant period (before 17 May 2021).
The reinfection rate is also higher for those with a long-term health condition and those is younger age groups, although the risk remains low.
People working in the education sector are more likely to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) than other working adults.
Those living in a household with someone aged 16 years or under are also more likely to test positive. The higher risk is likely related to the recent high infection levels among school aged children.
The data from the fortnight ending 14 November 2021 also reveal that people who reported receiving three vaccinations (including booster vaccinations) were “less likely” to test positive than those who received their second dose of Astra Zeneca or Pfizer more than 90 days ago.
Behavioural characteristics of people associated with being more or less likely to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Estimated likelihood of testing positive for coronavirus on nose and throat swabs by behavioural characteristic variables, UK, 1 November to 14 November 2021
One in five students have had COVID-19 during the pandemic
29 November 2021
Just over one in five students (21%) have had COVID-19 at some point during the coronavirus pandemic, which was confirmed with a positive test.
This is according to the latest findings from the Student COVID-19 Insights Survey (SCIS) in England, covering the period from 5 to 15 November 2021.
The majority (89%) of students said they had already had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, similar to late October (91%).
Almost half (49%) of students reported taking a COVID-19 test in the last seven days, while 9 in 10 students (90%) said they would request a test if they developed COVID-19 symptoms.
Meanwhile, the proportion of students feeling lonely often or always is 17%, significantly higher than 16- to 29-year-olds (9%) and the adult population in Great Britain (7%).
3 in 10 (30%) students reported that their mental health and wellbeing had worsened since the start of the Autumn 2021 term, similar to late October (32%).