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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 and hospital admissions were level in England

COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions remained level

Estimated coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity rates, hospital admissions and number of deaths, England, 1 August 2020 to 5 September 2021

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In the week ending 3 September 2021, the COVID-19 infection rate in England was at 1.38%, which is similar to the week before. The hospital admission rate also remained level at 7.40 per 100,000 people in the week ending 5 September. There were 632 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England in the week ending 3 September. This is 17 fewer deaths than in the week before, however, the latest week included the Summer Bank Holiday, so differences between this week and the previous week should be treated with caution.

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates from 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: 14/09/2021

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Hospitalisations and deaths are below second wave levels

Infections are higher than in the corresponding week of the second wave, but hospital admissions and deaths remain lower

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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Infection levels in the week ending 3 September 2021 were higher than in the corresponding week of the second wave (week ending 18 December 2020). Despite higher infection levels, hospital admission rates and number of deaths involving COVID-19 are lower in the third wave. There were 7.40 hospital admissions of COVID-19 confirmed patients per 100,000 people in the week ending 5 September 2021, compared with 18.78 in the corresponding week of the second wave (week ending 20 December 2020). There were 632 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England in the week ending 3 September, compared with 2,729 in the corresponding week of the second wave (week ending 18 December 2020).

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 from 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: 14/09/2021

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Hospitalisations and deaths were highest in oldest age groups

Positivity rates were highest in teenagers and young adults, but hospital admissions and deaths were highest among the elderly

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 in the week ending 3 September 2021, hospital admission rates in the week ending 5 September, and deaths registered in the week ending 3 September, by age, England

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Positivity rates were highest among secondary school children (school Year 7 to school Year 11) and teenagers and young adults (school Year 12 to aged 24 years) in the latest week (week ending 3 September 2021). The positivity rate was lowest in adults aged 70 years and over. Hospital admission rates increased for those aged 5 to 14 years and groups between 55 to 84 years but decreased in all other age groups (week ending 5 September). Rates remained highest in groups aged 75 years and over and lowest in those aged 5 to 14 years.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased or remained similar in most age groups (week ending 3 September, England). However, the latest week included the Summer Bank Holiday, so differences in deaths between this week and the previous week should be treated with caution. The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was highest in those aged 85 years and over and lowest in children aged under 15 years.

Infection rates are from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, hospital admission rates from 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: 14/09/2021

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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 from 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: 14/09/2021

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Trends in COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths varied across English regions

Trends in hospital admissions and deaths involving COVID-19 varied across English regions

Change in hospital admission rates and numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 from previous week, England, weeks ending 5 September and 3 September 2021

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Hospital admission rates of COVID-19-confirmed patients decreased in five of the nine English regions in the week ending 5 September 2021. The largest decrease was in the East Midlands and the largest increase in the North East.

The number of registered deaths involving COVID-19 increased in five of the nine English regions in the week ending 3 September. The largest increase was in the East Midlands (18 more deaths). The largest decrease was recorded in London (31 fewer deaths). The latest week included the Summer Bank Holiday, so differences in deaths between this week and the previous week should be treated with caution.

Hospital admission rates are from 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: 14/09/2021

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Antibody positivity is high across data sources

Trends in antibody positivity are similar 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 2020 to 29 August 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 August 2021. The Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS), Public Health England sero-surveillance 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.

Overall REACT-2 estimates are slightly lower, which could be because the REACT-2 test is self-administered, whilst CIS and NHS-BT tests involve blood samples taken by a health professional. While all figures are adjusted in attempt to represent the population, CIS and REACT test randomly selected people and NHS-BT estimates are based on results from healthy adult blood donors. Additionally, each source reports data for different time periods: NHS-BT estimates are four-week averages, CIS figures are weekly estimates and REACT-2 reports results for testing rounds lasting between 14 and 24 days.

Last updated: 16/09/2021

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ONS and NHS report similar daily case levels in England

New daily COVID-19 cases reported by NHS Test and Trace and Coronavirus Infection Survey follow similar trends

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 6 August 2021, England

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New daily COVID-19 cases estimated by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) and reported by NHS Test and Trace show similar trends over time. CIS incidence may be higher as it aims to estimate all new cases in the community population, whereas 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 the reasons 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: 27/08/2021

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. See the more information page to read about different data sources used in the tool.

The tool is updated regularly when relevant data are published. This is typically at least twice a week, for example:

  • when weekly deaths registrations are published (usually on a Tuesday)

  • when results from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey are published (usually on a Friday)

Daily updates on COVID-19 levels and vaccinations can be found onΒ GOV.UK.

Some policy areas are devolved and more information is available for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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