Summary

27 October 2020

In our Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection survey, the latest estimate shows the number of infections continues to increase. There has been growth in COVID-19 infection rates in all age groups over the past two weeks including those aged 70 years and over, with the current rates highest in older teenagers and young adults.

An estimated 433,300 people had COVID-19 within the community population in England between 10 and 16 October 2020, equating to around 1 in 130 people. In Wales, an estimated 16,700 people had COVID-19 during the same period, equating to around 1 in 180 people. In Northern Ireland, during the most recent two weeks (3 to 16 October 2020), an estimated 1.01% of people had COVID-19, equating to 1 in 100 people. Our survey has been extended to Scotland, where in the most recent two weeks (3 to 16 October 2020) an estimated 0.57% of people had COVID-19, equating to 1 in 180 people.

The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 16 October increased compared with the previous week, as did deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite rising to the highest since the week ending 19 June 2020, the number of COVID-19 deaths remained low compared with figures seen at the peak of the pandemic.

Our monthly mortality analysis of provisional death registration data in England and Wales in September 2020 shows there were 39,827 deaths registered in England, 2,568 more deaths than the five-year average for September. In Wales, there were 2,610 deaths registered, 135 more deaths than the five-year average for September.

The leading cause of death in September 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in both England and Wales. The coronavirus (COVID-19) did not feature in the top 10 leading causes of death in September 2020, neither in England nor Wales.

Mortality rates for deaths in September 2020 due to COVID-19 have increased for the first time since the peak in April 2020.

A dataset containing the provisional number of deaths registered monthly, by area of usual residence, for England and Wales in September 2020 and previous months in 2020 has been published.

View our summaries of the economy, social impacts or go to our main roundup page for the latest across all topics.

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This page was last updated at 09:30 on 27 October 2020.


27 October 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19

There were 670 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales in the week ending 16 October 2020, the highest weekly figure since the week ending 19 June 2020.

However, this remains below numbers seen at the peak of the pandemic, and accounts for just 6.4% of all deaths in the latest week.

By region, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths was reported in the North West (229 deaths), followed by the North East (93) and Yorkshire and the Humber (87).

The total number of deaths across England and Wales in the week ending 16 October 2020 was 10,534 (above the five-year average for the ninth time in the past ten weeks).

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 54,325 COVID-19 deaths registered in England and Wales, up to 16 October 2020 (29,969 men and 24,356 women).

The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (48,530 out of 54,325).

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on the death certificates. We have published a summary of where you can find data on COVID-19 infection rates and deaths for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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27 October 2020

Characteristics of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Analysis of the characteristics of people in the community who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has shown a higher percentage of people reporting symptoms at or around the time of their test in recent weeks, compared with a low point in the summer months.

From 28 September to 11 October 2020, 34% of participants in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey who tested positive for COVID-19 reported any evidence of symptoms at the time of the test. A smaller proportion of those who tested positive, 24%, reported experiencing a cough, fever or anosmia (loss of taste or smell) at the time of the test.

Overall, during late June to late July, very few people who tested positive reported any evidence of symptoms at the time of their positive test (as low as 0%), compared with up to 38% at other times.

A similar pattern can be observed for the proportion of those who tested positive and who reported experiencing symptoms around the time of their positive test, rather than just on the day of the positive test.

From 28 September to 11 October 2020, 45% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of the test, with 33% of those experiencing cough, fever or anosmia (loss of taste or smell) around the time of the test. Again, very few people reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of their test between late June and late July.

Analysis of the age, rural or urban location by region and travel behaviour of those testing positive for COVID-19 is also presented in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, October 2020.

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23 October 2020

COVID-19 Infection Survey

The number of people with the coronavirus in England has risen to around 433,000 in the most recent week, or around 1 in 130 people.

There has been growth in COVID-19 infection rates in all age groups in England over the past two weeks including those aged over 70 years, with the current rates highest in older teenagers and young adults.

Infection rates are highest in older teenagers and young adults

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by age group since 5 September 2020, England

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Notes:
  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.

  2. These statistics refer to infections reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.

  3. The modelled estimates are presented at the reference value for a region which is the East Midlands. This does not affect the overall trend over time, but estimated probabilities for other regions would vary in level.

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In England, the highest regional infection rates are still in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, and the North East.

The COVID-19 Infection Survey has been expanded and now includes infection estimates for Scotland, and monthly antibody estimates for England and Wales.

In England, an estimated 5.6% of people would have tested positive for antibodies against the coronavirus in September, with the highest positivity in London, the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber and the North West. Infections in Wales are estimated at 16,700 people, or 1 in 180 people during the most recent week of the study, up to October 16 2020.

Antibody prevalence for Wales is estimated to be around 4.2% of the population in September.

In Northern Ireland, during the most recent two weeks (3 to 16 October 2020), we estimate that 1.01% of people had COVID-19.

In Scotland, we estimate that 0.57% of people in Scotland had COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

Read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin for more information.

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23 October 2020

Monthly mortality analysis, September 2020

Mortality rates for deaths in September 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have increased for the first time since the peak in April 2020.

Our monthly mortality analysis of provisional death registration data in England and Wales in September 2020 shows there were 39,827 deaths registered in England, 2,568 deaths more than the five-year average for September; in Wales, there were 2,610 deaths registered, 135 deaths more than the five-year average.

The leading cause of death in September 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England (accounting for 11.2% of all deaths) and in Wales (11.1% of all deaths). The coronavirus (COVID-19) did not feature in the top 10 leading causes of death in September 2020, neither in England nor in Wales.

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are used for comparisons over time rather than numbers of deaths, as ASMRs account for changes to the population size and age structure.

The ASMR of deaths in September 2020 due to COVID-19 was 12.6 per 100,000 persons in England, and in Wales the ASMR was 10.8 per 100,000 persons; in England, for the first time since April 2020, the COVID-19 mortality rate significantly increased, compared with the previous month.

Since September 2003, overall mortality rates in England for the month of September had been decreasing, to a low in September 2018. However, the overall mortality rate significantly increased in September 2019 and in September 2020. Mortality rates in Wales show a similar pattern over time.

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20 October 2020

Deaths in private homes

We have provided detailed analysis of deaths that occurred in private homes in England and Wales during the pandemic.

There were 108,842 deaths in private homes in England registered from 28 December 2019 to 11 September 2020, and 7,440 deaths in private homes in Wales in the same period.

This was 25,472 deaths more than the five-year average in England and 1,624 deaths more than the five-year average in Wales.

The number of deaths in private homes registered in England each week in 2020 was above the five-year average, with the exception of the week ending 3 January. In Wales, the number of deaths in private homes has remained above the five-year average since the week ending 20 March, with the exception of the week ending 4 September.

Males accounted for a higher percentage of excess deaths in private homes than females. People aged 70 to 89 years contributed most to the excess deaths in private homes, accounting for 58.5% of excess deaths in England and 63.6% in Wales.

Deaths in private homes for males from ischaemic heart diseases increased by 25.9% in England and 22.7% in Wales compared with the five-year average. Deaths in private homes for females from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased by 75.0% in England and 92.2% in Wales compared with the five-year average.

In England, between the week ending 20 March 2020 and the week ending 11 September 2020, 39.6% of all deaths occurred in hospitals, followed by private homes (27.7%) and care homes (25.9%). However, since the peak in deaths, trends have differed between places of death.

Almost 60% of excess deaths in private homes in England were of people aged 70 to 89 years

Number of deaths in private homes by sex and age, England, registered 14 March 2020 to 11 September 2020

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Notes:

  1. Figures exclude deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. Figures for 2020 are provisional.
  4. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).
  5. “Deaths involving COVID-19” refers to deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause of death or not.

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16 October 2020

Ethnic background contrasts in deaths involving COVID-19

A substantial proportion of the differences in COVID-19 mortality for people of ethnic minority backgrounds can be explained by demographic, geographical and socioeconomic factors, modelling has found.

After adjustments for those factors, males in all ethnic minority groups other than Chinese retained a higher rate of COVID-19 mortality; for females, all other than Bangladeshi, Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups retained a raised rate of COVID-19 mortality following adjustments.

Most minority ethnicities have higher COVID-19 mortality rate

Rate of death compared to White ethnicities, adjusted by various possible factors in England and Wales, to 28 July

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In England and Wales, there were notable increased rates of death involving COVID-19 for people of Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic background compared to the White ethnic group.

The latest research considers whether higher risk health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease could account for ethnic mortality differences.

Use of hospital records showed that although some health conditions were more common in certain ethnic groups, these differences did not have a significant effect in explaining ethnic group differences.

Researchers took account of age, where people live in England, how densely populated that area is and other socio-economic characteristics, such as multi-generational households or occupational exposure.

Adding health conditions to the model, the rate of death involving Covid-19 for Black African males is still 2.5 times higher than for those of White background, and 2.1 times higher for Black African females.

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8 October 2020

COVID-19 deaths compared with those from influenza and pneumonia

More than three times as many people died due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) than influenza and pneumonia, between January and August 2020.

Our analysis of deaths in England and Wales has shown that COVID-19 claimed the lives of 48,168 people, while 13,619 people died of pneumonia and 394 died from influenza.

While influenza and pneumonia were mentioned on more death certificates between January and August 2020, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death in more than three times as many deaths.

Between 1 January and 31 August 2020, there were 1.3 times as many deaths where influenza or pneumonia was a contributory factor than COVID-19, but COVID-19 was the underlying cause in 3.4 times as many deaths.

In 2020 fewer people aged 85 years and older died of influenza and pneumonia compared with the five-year average, while the proportion of people in the same age group dying from COVID-19 was higher.

The proportion of care home deaths due to COVID-19 was almost double that of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia (30.0% and 15.2% respectively).

There were more COVID-19 deaths between 1 January and 31 August 2020 than influenza and pneumonia for the same period every year between 1959 and 2020.

This article uses death occurrences (based on date a death occurred) rather than death registrations (based on date a death was registered), as occurrences are more useful in examining trends over time.

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28 September 2020

Characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey has shown the number of infections in the community in England rising in recent weeks. New analysis of the characteristics of those testing positive shows that shows that in recent weeks, COVID-19 positivity rates have been higher amongst people who have travelled abroad, although increases are seen in both those who have and have not travelled.

Our latest analysis suggests that socially distant direct contact in younger age groups is an increasingly important factor in contracting COVID-19. For individuals aged under 35 years, positivity rates have increased over time among those who report having had socially distanced direct contact with six or more people aged 18 to 69 years. This means that reporting having had socially distanced direct contact with a larger number of people appears to be an increasingly important factor in rising positivity rates in the younger age groups.

However, we have found no evidence that patient-facing roles or working location are driving the greater increase in positivity rate in younger age groups in recent weeks.

Between 23 July and 10 September, rates have increased fastest primarily in the least deprived areas in each region.

COVID-19 infection rates have increased primarily in the least deprived areas

Estimated percentage testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by index of deprivation quintiles between 23 July and 10 September 2020, England

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Individuals aged under 35 years are showing increases in all areas, regardless of deprivation. In those aged 35 years and over, increases in positivity rates over time have only occurred in the less deprived areas

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25 September 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 by occupation

Among men working in health care and social care, the rate of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) was around 3.2 times higher in those who likely acquired the virus before lockdown than those who likely acquired the virus during lockdown.

Between 9 March and 30 June 2020, prior to the widespread easing of lockdown restrictions, 5,330 deaths involving COVID-19 in the working age population (those aged 20 to 64 years) of England and Wales were registered. 72.0% of the total number (3,839 deaths) were likely to be a result of an infection acquired before lockdown on 23 March. Occupation information is available on the death certificate.

Our analysis shows that mortality rates for both sexes during lockdown were generally half those seen before lockdown for all major occupation groups. Despite this, some groups of occupations continued to have high rates of death involving COVID-19 across the entire period, when compared to rates in the population.

Among men, four out of the nine major occupation groups had higher rates of death involving COVID-19 in the before and during lockdown groups, compared with rates among those of the same age and sex in the population (elementary occupations; caring, leisure and other service occupations; process, plant and machine operatives; and skilled trades occupations).

Among women, only those working in the caring, leisure and other service occupations had higher rates of death involving COVID-19 in the before and during lockdown groups. People working in the health and social care sector are recorded in a wide range of occupational groups. Men working in health and social care experienced rates of death involving COVID-19 that were three times higher in the before lockdown group than the during lockdown group. For women, only social care workers had elevated rates in the before lockdown group.

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18 September 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 by disability status

Disabled people (those limited a little and those limited a lot in their day-to-day activities by a long-term health problem or disability) aged nine years and over made up almost 6 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales between 2 March and 14 July 2020. Amongst COVID-19 related deaths of females aged 65 years and over, the proportion made up by disabled people was largest, accounting for 67% of the total.

Our analysis shows that males and females aged 9 years and over who were disabled had higher age-standardised mortality rates (ASMR) than those who were non-disabled.

Males who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities had an overall age-standardised COVID-19 mortality rate of 240.8 deaths per 100,000 (non-disabled: 84.2 deaths per 100,000). Females who were disabled had an age-standardised COVID-19 mortality rate of 169.9 deaths per 100,000 (non-disabled: 44.4 deaths per 100,000).

The relative gaps in ASMRs between disabled and non-disabled males and females were largest amongst those aged 9 to 64 years. Mortality rates for those aged 9 to 64 years who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities were 10.8 times greater for females and 6.5 times greater for males, than for non-disabled people in the same age and sex group.

Adjusting for age, socio-demographic, geographic and household characteristics reduced the relative difference in mortality rates between the disabled and non-disabled. The relative difference in mortality rates between those who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities and those non-disabled was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

Males aged 65 years and over who were disabled and limited a lot had the highest age-standardised COVID-19 mortality rate at 860.8 per 100,000

Age-standardised mortality rates for deaths involving COVID-19, by sex, age group and disability status, England and Wales, 2 March to 14 July 2020

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Notes:
  1. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures based on death registrations up to 21 July 2020 that occurred between 2 March and 14 July 2020 that could be linked to the 2011 Census for the coronavirus (COVID-19) rate of death.
  2. Deaths were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19 include those with an underlying cause, or any mention, of ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified) or U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified).
  3. Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) of COVID-19-related death can be interpreted as deaths per 100,000 population during the period of investigation.
  4. Non-overlapping error bars denote a statistically significant difference in rates of death.
  5. Disability status was defined using the self-reported answers to the 2011 Census question; “Are your day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months? - Include problems related to old age” (Yes, limited a lot; Yes, limited a little; and No).

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11 September 2020

Analysis of deaths not involving COVID-19

Fewer deaths from causes not related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been recorded between 8 May and 10 July 2020 than the average for deaths at this time of year.

There were 6% fewer non-COVID-19 deaths than average in that time, which represents 5,658 fewer recorded in England and Wales.

This follows the period of 7 March to 1 May 2020, where there were 15% more non-COVID-19 fatalities than expected.

Non-COVID-19 weekly death registrations have been below or similar to the five-year average since Week 19 in 2020, having previously been above average between Weeks 13 and 18

Weekly total death registrations and non-COVID-19 death registrations in 2020 for England and Wales, compared to with the five-year average for equivalent weeks up to Week 28

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Notes:
  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 are provisional.
  4. The ICD-10 definitions for COVID-19 are U07.1 and U07.2.5. Individual weeks may not sum to the year-to-date analysis as previous weeks have been recalculated in order to have the most up-to-date figures.
  5. The number of deaths registered in Weeks 19, 20, 22 and 23 were impacted by the early and late May Bank Holidays (Friday 8 May 2020 in Week 19 and Monday 25 May 2020 in Week 22); the impact of the early May Bank Holiday was analysed in our weekly death registrations bulletin for Week 20.

There was a 37% increase in non-COVID-19 deaths in private homes between 8 May and 10 July 2020 compared with average levels, whereas registrations for non-COVID-19 deaths that occurred in care homes have decreased since peaking in mid-April, returning to pre-coronavirus levels.

Registrations for deaths in hospitals from non-COVID-19-related causes also remain below average levels, by 30%.

Higher numbers of deaths in early March to early May 2020 and lower levels observed in more recent weeks could be attributed to people who may have otherwise died in the later weeks dying a few weeks earlier.

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1 September 2020

Effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on suicide unclear

Provisional data show there were 2,107 deaths by suicide registered in England between January and June 2020. However, only one -fifth of these (21.6%) had a date of death that was also in 2020. This is because of the length of time it can take to hold an inquest into these deaths. As a result of this delay, we cannot yet be sure of the number of suicides that occurred during the coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic.

According to the data, there were 10.3 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 , and 6.9 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020. The number of suicide registrations in Quarter 2 is 30% lower than the average number of registrations for the same period between 2015 and 2019, and is the lowest number of any quarter since 2001.

However, these numbers should be interpreted with caution. It is likely that the lower number of suicides registered in this period reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on coroner services in England and Wales, such as delays to inquests caused by services adapting to social distancing measures. It is unlikely that this decrease represents a genuine reduction in the number of suicides.

The earliest date we will be able to more fully report on provisional data on suicide deaths during the coronavirus pandemic will be in 2021.

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28 August 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation

We have published provisional analysis of all deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) that occurred in England and Wales between 1 March and 31 July 2020, (registered up to 15 August 2020), focusing on differences between local areas.

Our analysis shows that between March and July, there were 259,199 deaths occurring in England and Wales, 51,831 of which involved COVID-19 (20% of all deaths).

Over this period, there were 90.2 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 people in England and Wales. Looking at both countries separately, this equates to 90.9 deaths per 100,000 people in England compared with 75.7 per 100,000 people in Wales.

Wales and all English regions recorded an increase in age-standardised mortality rates (ASMR) involving COVID-19 between March and April, followed by decreases in May through to July 2020. However, in England, for the month of July, the ASMR for deaths involving COVID-19 in the most deprived areas of the country was more than double that seen in the least deprived areas (3.1 deaths per 100,000 people compared with 1.4). This continued a theme seen in previous months.

Our analysis also shows that in July 2020, of the 336 local authority areas in England and Wales, 71 had no deaths in July involving COVID-19 and only two areas recorded more than 20 such deaths. These two areas were Leicester and Ashford, which saw 24 and 21 deaths involving COVID-19 respectively.

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28 August 2020

Interactive map of deaths involving COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across the vast majority of neighbourhoods in England and Wales. The interactive map allows you to see the number of deaths occurring in the period March to July 2020, where COVID-19 was mentioned as a cause on the death certificate.

The size of the circle represents the number of deaths.

Enter your postcode or interact with the map to see the number of deaths in an area.

Number of deaths involving COVID-19 in Middle Layer Super Output Areas, England and Wales, deaths occurring between 1 March and 31 July 2020

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Notes:
  1. Points on the map are placed at the centre of the local area they represent and do not show the actual location of deaths. The size of the circle is proportional to the number of deaths.
  2. To protect confidentiality, a small number of deaths have been reallocated between neighbouring areas. Given the method used for this, figures for some areas may be different to previously published data.
  3. Deaths occurring between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 and registered by 15 August 2020.
  4. Figures exclude death of non-residents and are based on May 2020 boundaries.
  5. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the underlying cause or was mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor (International Classification of Diseases, tenth edition (ICD-10) codes U07.1 and U07.2).
  6. Locally adopted Middle-layer Super Output Area (MSOA) names are provided by House of Commons Library. While these names are not officially supported for National Statistics, they are provided here to help local users.
  7. Figures are provisional.
  8. Please note, because of the low numbers this chart will not be updated for future months.

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