New daily COVID-19 cases in the UK have stopped falling this week

June 25, 2020

The latest COVID Symptom Study app data suggests that the number of daily new cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks has begun to stabilise.

According to these figures there are currently 2,341 daily new cases of COVID in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 20 June 2020 (excluding care homes). These figures were based on 14,422 swab tests from 7 to 20 June, including 56 positive swabs.

Daily new cases

For the past month the number of daily new cases has been falling week on week making this the first time the data has stopped falling. The data shows that the Midlands is now the region of England with the largest number with 716 daily new cases. This week's figures also point to the return of a slight North / South divide as the Midlands, North West and North East all now have higher numbers of daily new cases compared to the southern regions like the South West and London which have very low numbers. 

A full regional breakdown of new daily cases can be found on our data page.

An important update on how our figures are calculated

You will notice that this week's incidence figures are lower than last week's, yet we suggest that new daily cases have stabilised. This is because the COVID Symptom Study app team took the decision to update its approach to calculating daily new cases.

The number of people gaining access to antibody tests has increased in the past weeks particularly in the London area, which meant that the number of people reporting positive COVID cases as a result of these tests increased. Results from these antibody tests provide information about past infections, so removing reported antibody tests from the analysis gives a more accurate reflection of the number of new cases in the population.

This means that last week's incidence and this week's incidence are not directly comparable. However, COVID Symptom Study app users can view incidence trends directly through the app as we have corrected all of the incidence trend charts for the entire timeline in these plots for this comparison. To access these charts, select the module on the app's 'Thank you' screen that includes exclusive content for app users only.

Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, comments: 

“With lockdown being eased over the last few weeks and more changes soon to come it’s interesting to see that we are now seeing a tail off in the decline. With COVID very much still in the population it’s really important that the UK continues to be cautious when it comes heading back to normal life.

If we want to make this lifting of lockdown a success everyone needs to educate themselves on COVID such as knowing all 19 symptoms that are associated with COVID. Especially important is the first few days when cases are being missed when it is important to self isolate if unwell and getting tested rapidly. Also using technology like our app will give us valuable data and help us build a clearer picture of how much COVID is in the population at any one given time, which will help us catch any potential second waves sooner rather than later” 

Additional notes:

This analysis requires swab testing, which was kindly provided by the Department of Health and Social Care for England. As Scotland and Wales are not yet offering tests to app users, we provided indirect estimates using countrywide averages and wide confidence limits.  Testing is happening in Northern Ireland, but the number of participants is too few to generate an accurate estimate. These figures exclude care homes as there is not enough data from the app to estimate this population.

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