Latest COVID-19 headlines
- UK coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths continue to fall
- 2020 saw highest recorded rise in deaths from alcohol misuse
- Infections increase in most parts of the UK
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UK coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths continue to fall
7 December 2021
The number of deaths from all causes in the UK in the week ending 26 November 2021 was 13,150. This is 11.2% above the average for the corresponding week from 2015 to 2019.
Of all deaths registered in the week ending 26 November, 979 involved coronavirus (COVID-19), which is 111 fewer than the previous week. Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for around 1 in 13 deaths (7.4%). UK total deaths include non-residents.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 fell in both England and Wales, compared with the previous week.
Between 13 March 2020 and 12 November 2021, there have been 128,740 excess deaths above the five-year average in England and Wales; of these, 123,343 were in England, and 6,638 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.
2020 saw highest recorded rise in deaths from alcohol misuse
7 December 2021
In 2020, there were 8,974 deaths directly caused by alcohol misuse registered in the UK, equal to 14 per 100,000 people.
These are described as alcohol-specific deaths.
The alcohol-specific death rate in 2020 was 18.6% higher than in 2019. That is the highest yearly rise since the time series began in 2001.
2020 saw a statistically significant increase in alcohol-specific deaths, after staying broadly stable between 2012 and 2019.
In line with previous years, death rates for alcohol-specific deaths were more than twice as high among men than women (19 and 9.2 deaths per 100,000).
The death rate rose across all four UK nations, but statistically significant increases were only seen in Scotland and England.
The highest death rates for alcohol-specific deaths in 2020 were seen in Scotland and Northern Ireland (21.5 and 19.6 per 100,000 people).
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".