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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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Infections, hospital admissions and deaths in England

Infection levels are higher than the Alpha variant peak, while hospitalisations and deaths are lower

Estimated coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity rates, overall hospital admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admissions, and number of deaths, England, 1 August 2020 to 26 June 2022

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The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England increased to 3.35% in the week ending 24 June 2022. Overall hospital admissions of COVID-19-confirmed patients increased to 11.11 per 100,000 people, while intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admissions remained very low at 0.27 per 100,000 people in the week ending 26 June 2022. The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England decreased to 246 in the week ending 17 June 2022.  However, the number of deaths in the previous week may have been higher because of the bank holidays on 2 and 3 June.

Infection rates in the latest week are higher than the Alpha variant peak in January 2021. In that week, overall hospital admissions were over three times higher (36.68 per 100,000 people), and intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admissions were nine times higher (2.43 per 100,000 people, week ending 10 January 2021). The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was over 22 times higher (5,597 week ending 8 January 2021) than in the latest week.

There is a delay (lag) between a person becoming infected with COVID-19 and being admitted to hospital or dying as a result of infection. Therefore, we expect changes in trends in hospital admissions, ICU and HDU admissions, and deaths to be observed later than changes in infection trends.

The data used in the chart come from our Coronavirus Infection Survey, UKHSA's National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional bulletin.

Last updated: 01/07/2022 

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Comparisons by age group

Infections and hospitalisations increased in all age groups, while deaths decreased in most older age groups

Infections increased across all age groups in the latest week (ending 24 June 2022). Overall hospital admissions increased across all groups, and ICU and HDU admissions remained low (week ending 26 June 2022). Deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in groups aged 55 to 84 years, but remained similar in all other age groups (week ending 17 June 2022).

The data used in these charts comes from our Coronavirus Infection Survey, UKHSA's National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional bulletin.

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Infections were highest for those aged 50 to 69 years and 25 to 34 years

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Infections were highest for those aged 50 to 69 years (4.22%) and 25 to 34 years (4.05%), and lowest for those aged 2 years to school Year 6 (1.33%) in the latest week (ending 24 June 2022). The age groups with the highest and lowest infection rates have varied during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated: 01/07/2022

Hospital admissions remain highest for those aged 85 years and over

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Overall hospital admissions were highest for those aged 85 years and over and lowest for children aged 5 to 14 years. This has been consistent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. ICU and HDU admission rates were highest for those aged 75 to 84 years and lowest for children aged 5 to 14 years. Although overall hospital admission rates have consistently been highest in the oldest age group, the highest ICU and HDU admission rates have varied across groups aged 55 years and over.

Last updated: 01/07/2022

Deaths remain highest for those aged 85 years and over

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Deaths involving COVID-19 were highest for those aged 85 years and over (113 deaths) and lowest for those aged under 15 years, where there were none (week ending 17 June 2022). This has been consistent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the highest overall hospital admission rates in the oldest age groups.

Last updated: 01/07/2022

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Comparisons by region

Infections and hospitalisations increased in all English regions, but trends in deaths varied

Estimated coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity rates, overall hospital admission rates with intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admissions, and number of deaths, by English regions, 7 May to 26 June 2022

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Infection rates increased in all regions in the week ending 24 June 2022. Overall hospital admission rates increased in all regions in the week ending 26 June 2022. The increase in hospital admissions seen in the South East was smaller than those in other regions. ICU and HDU admissions remained very low across all regions. Deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in five out of nine English regions in the week ending 17 June 2022. Deaths increased in the North East, the East of England and London, and remained similar in the South West.

There is a delay between a person becoming infected with COVID-19 and being admitted to hospital or dying. Therefore, we expect changes in trends in overall hospital admissions, ICU and HDU admissions and deaths to be observed later than changes in infections. Infections refer to the percentage testing positive and hospital admissions show rates per 100,000 people in each NHS catchment trust area. Deaths figures are the number of deaths registered in the time period. The number of deaths in each region will be affected by population size and do not necessarily reflect the rate of deaths.

The data used in the chart come from our Coronavirus Infection Survey, UKHSA's National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional bulletin.

Last updated: 01/07/2022

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Are Coronavirus Infection Survey estimates affected by changes in testing?

Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) shows an increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in England

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, 19 April 2021 to 3 June 2022, England

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The number of new daily COVID-19 cases are being reported by the Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) and NHS Test and Trace, however, NHS Test and Trace data cannot be used to accurately identify the number of new COVID-19 cases in the general population. CIS estimates all new cases in the community population. These estimates are based on the testing of people from randomly selected private households, whether they are experiencing symptoms or not and can therefore be considered a good estimate of COVID-19 transmission.

NHS Test and Trace data only reports on the individuals who have taken and reported the results of PCR or lateral flow tests. This depends on testing capacity, why people get tested and changes in government policy over time. From 11 January 2022, the government guidance to take a confirmatory PCR test following a positive result on a lateral flow device was removed. Changes to COVID-19 testing in England from 1 April 2022 meant that all free mass testing for the general public ended. These changes have not affected the CIS estimates.

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

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.

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Antibody trends

Antibody positivity remains high across data sources

Estimated percentage of adults testing positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, 7 December 2020 to 5 June 2022, England

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The proportion of people aged 16 years and over testing positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in England increased between December 2020 and June 2022. The Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS), UK Health Security Agency 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.

NHS-BT results are higher because of differences between sources in the antibody concentration threshold for a positive test. This chart presents CIS estimates using an antibody level of 179 ng/ml, which will show any changes in antibody levels earlier. For details see the antibodies section on our More information on data sources related to COVID-19 page.

Last updated: 29/06/2022

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Winter COVID-19 and flu deaths

Deaths due to COVID-19 were higher than those due to flu and pneumonia in winter 2021/22, but much lower than in 2020/21

Monthly deaths registered due to flu and pneumonia in December to March, England and Wales, 2001 to 2022, and deaths due to COVID-19, December to March, 2020 to 2022

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During the winter of 2020/21, deaths due to both COVID-19 and flu and pneumonia exceeded those due to flu and pneumonia alone in pre-coronavirus years. In the latest winter (December 2021 to March 2022), the number of deaths with COVID-19 as the underlying cause has fallen more in line with those due to flu and pneumonia in pre-pandemic years. However, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is still double the amount of deaths due to flu and pneumonia in the same period.

There have been considerably fewer deaths due to flu and pneumonia over the last two winters compared with previous years, with deaths due to flu and pneumonia at historic lows. Although deaths due to flu and pneumonia seem to be rising again and deaths due to COVID-19 are decreasing, deaths due to COVID-19 remain higher than deaths due to flu and pneumonia.

Infection and antibody levels, vaccination rates, restrictions and differences between COVID-19 variants all affect the data we have on COVID-19 mortality. Some of these factors also have affected flu and pneumonia deaths over the same period.

Last updated: 23/05/2022

Read more about this in our How coronavirus (COVID-19) compares with flu as a cause of death article

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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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