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Comparing different data types and sources


Here we present charts comparing data about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across various sources. You can read more about how these sources differ from each other on our more information page.

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COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions and deaths increased

COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions and deaths increased

Estimated coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity rates, hospital admissions and number of deaths, England, 1 August 2020 to 17 October 2021

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In the week ending 16 October 2021, the COVID-19 infection rate in England increased to 1.79%. Hospital admissions of COVID-19-confirmed patients increased to 7.20 per 100,000 people in the week ending 17 October 2021. The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England increased to 640 in the week ending 15 October, compared with 582 the week before (ending 8 October).

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates are from the UK Health Security Agencyย (formerly Public Health England) national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and number of deaths from Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 26/10/2021

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Hospitalisations and deaths are below second wave levels

Hospital admissions and deaths involving COVID-19 have been consistently lower in the third wave

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19, number of hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and number of deaths involving COVID-19, England

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Hospital admission rates and number of deaths involving COVID-19 have been consistently lower in the third wave. There were 7.20 hospital admissions of COVID-19 confirmed patients per 100,000 people in the week ending 17 October 2021, compared with 25.70 per 100,000 people in the corresponding week of the second wave (week ending 31 January 2021). There were 640 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England in the week ending 15 October, compared with 8,063 in the corresponding week of the second wave (week ending 29 January 2021).

There is a period of time (lag) between a person becoming infected with COVID-19 and being admitted to hospital or dying as a result of infection. Therefore, we might still see a change in hospital admissions and deaths corresponding to the recent changes in the infection levels.

The second wave of COVID-19 infections is estimated to have started in the week beginning 4 September 2020, and the third wave in the week beginning 23 May 2021. However, these are not exact dates and should be treated with caution. You can read more about definitions of waves and lags of COVID-19 in England in our technical article.

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates are from the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and number of deaths from Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 26/10/2021

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Hospitalisations and deaths were highest in oldest age groups

Positivity rates were highest in secondary school children, but hospital admissions and deaths were highest among older people

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 in the week ending 16 October 2021, hospital admission rates in the week ending 17 October, and deaths registered in the week ending 15 October, by age, England

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Positivity rates were highest among secondary school children (school Years 7 to 11) in the latest week (week ending 16 October 2021). The positivity rate was lowest in adults aged 25 to 34 years and those aged 70 years and over. Hospital admission rates increased or remained similar in all age groups (week ending 17 October 2021). Admission rates remained the lowest in those aged between 5 to 14 years and highest in those aged 85 years and over.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased in groups aged 75 years and over but decreased or remained similar in all other age groups (week ending 15 October 2021, England). The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was highest among those aged 75 years and over and lowest in children aged under 15 years.

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates are from the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and number of deaths from Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 26/10/2021

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Trends in infections, hospitalisations and deaths vary across age groups

Infections, hospital admissions and deaths involving COVID-19 across age groups since February 2020

Infections, hospital admissions and deaths involving COVID-19, by age, England, since 6 February 2020

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This interactive heatmap shows trends in infections, hospital admissions and deaths involving COVID-19 in different age groups over time. Higher and lower rates are indicated by darker and lighter shades of colour, respectively. Select an age group to view the figures for a given week.

Infections figures shown in this chart are modelled estimates reported at the time of publication of official estimates for that week. This means that values for each week come from a separate model using most recent data available at the time. Until 20 August, positivity rates by age were produced based on a selected "average" region in terms of infection rates and population, which was the East Midlands. Therefore, results published prior to that date are not comparable with national headline positivity estimates.

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates are from the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and number of deaths from Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 26/10/2021

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Deaths increased in most English regions, but trends in hospital admissions varied

Deaths involving COVID-19 increased in most English regions, but trends in hospital admissions varied

Change in hospital admission rates and numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 from previous week, England, weeks ending 17 October and 15 October 2021

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Hospital admission rates of COVID-19-confirmed patients decreased in the North East and London but increased or remained similar in all other English regions in the week ending 17 October 2021. The largest increase was seen in the East Midlands.

The number of registered deaths involving COVID-19 increased in all English regions, apart from in the South West where there was a decrease (week ending 15 October 2021). The largest increase was seen in the West Midlands (23 more deaths).

Hospital admission rates are from the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and number of deaths from Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 26/10/2021

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Antibody positivity is high across data sources

Antibody positivity is high across data sources

Estimated percentage of the community population (aged at least 16 and over) testing positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, 28 April to 10 October 2021, England

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The proportion of people aged 16 years and over testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies in England increased between December 2020 and October 2021. The Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS), UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) data from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS-BT) blood donors, and Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) show similar trends in antibody positivity.

CIS reported signs of a slow decline in older age groups. This is expected as antibodies from vaccination and infection decrease over time. Many participants, who have recently tested negative, received their vaccinations in the early stages of the vaccination programme. The vaccination programme prioritised individuals with higher risk from COVID-19 because of age or long-term health conditions. We do not see a similar decline in antibody levels in NHS BT data, which is based on healthy blood donors and therefore might include fewer people vaccinated in the early stages of the programme.

Last updated: 27/10/2021

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Coronavirus Infection Survey reports a higher number of new daily cases, than NHS Test and Trace

Coronavirus Infection Survey reports a higher number of new daily COVID-19 cases, compared with NHS Test and Trace

Number of new positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, by specimen date, from Pillars 1 and 2 and estimated numbers of new PCR-positive COVID-19 cases, 14 June 2020 to 2 October 2021, England

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Number of new daily cases reported by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) has been consistently higher than NHS Test and Trace data over recent weeks. This may be because CIS aims to estimate all new cases in the community population, where NHS Test and Trace data is influenced by how many people are tested and why. This will depend on multiple factors such as the testing capacity or reasons for why people get tested (for example having symptoms).

You can read more about the differences between CIS and Test and Trace data on our more information page.

Last updated: 22/10/2021

Read more about this in GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.

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Further information


This page provides an overview of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, bringing together data from multiple sources. Each graphic provides a link to explore the topic further.

To read about different data sources used in this tool see our more information page.

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