1. Main points
During this period of high infections, we have decided to publish our headline results two days early. This means that the latest estimates on infection levels are available at their earliest opportunity and further breakdowns for the same period and a longer data time series will be published on Fridays. These early estimates are provisional and are subject to change as we receive more data, but they have undergone sufficient quality assurance to ensure that they are based upon an acceptable number of test results received up to the end of the reference week. This week, we are publishing estimates for the week ending 15 January 2022.
Today, we have published new data that show:
- In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in the week ending 15 January 2022; we estimate that 2,984,200 people in England had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 2,886,900 to 3,077,300), equating to around 1 in 20 people.
- In Wales, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 decreased in the week ending 15 January 2022; we estimate that 112,100 people in Wales had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 95,200 to 128,700), equating to around 1 in 25 people.
- In Northern Ireland, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased in the two weeks up to 15 January 2022, but the trend was uncertain in the week ending 15 January 2022; we estimate that 104,300 people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 89,300 to 120,600), equating to around 1 in 20 people.
- In Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 decreased in the week ending 15 January 2022; we estimate that 236,600 people in Scotland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 212,000 to 263,100), equating to around 1 in 20 people.
- In England, the percentage of people testing positive decreased in all age groups in the most recent week, except those aged 2 years to school Year 6 where the percentage of people testing positive increased in the most recent week.
- COVID-19 infections decreased in all regions in the most recent week except in the North East and the South West, where the trend was uncertain.
- Omicron variant compatible infections continue to be dominant across all UK countries.
Figure 1: The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 decreased in England, Wales and Scotland in the week ending 15 January 2022
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, UK, 17 January 2021 to 15 January 2022
Modelled results are provisional and subject to revision.
These statistics refer to infections occurring in private households. The figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments.
All estimates are subject to uncertainty, a credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis.
Official reported estimates are plotted at a reference point believed to be most representative of the given week.
The official estimate presents the best estimate at that point in time. Modelled estimates are used to calculate the official reported estimate. The model smooths the series to understand the trend and is revised each week to incorporate new test results, providing the best indication of trend over time.
Official estimates are displayed over a rolling year up to the most recent week. The full time series of our official estimates from 27 April 2020 onwards are available in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey datasets.
The majority of infections are compatible with the Omicron variant, therefore we are presenting the total infections.
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A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. The 95% credible intervals are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval.
4. Measuring the data
This week, the reference week is 9 to 15 January 2022 for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The reference day is Wednesday 12 January 2022. More information on reference weeks and days can be found in the Measuring the data section of our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 23 December 2021 bulletin.
Data for a longer time series
A longer time series from earlier data can be found in our usual weekly Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey datasets for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Survey fieldwork for the pilot study began in England on 26 April 2020. Fieldwork began on 29 June 2020 in Wales, 26 July 2020 in Northern Ireland, and 21 September 2020 in Scotland.
Other Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) analysis and studies
This study is one of a number of studies that look to provide information around the coronavirus pandemic within the UK. For information on other studies see Section 11: Measuring the data in our previous bulletin, published 30 April 2021.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our methods article and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey QMI.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 1633 560499