New daily COVID cases are no longer dropping in the UK

July 16, 2020

According to the latest COVID Symptom Study data, new daily cases of COVID-19 have stopped dropping across the UK.

According to the latest COVID Symptom Study app figures, there are currently 2,103 daily new cases of COVID in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 11 July 2020 (excluding care homes) [*].

The latest data suggests that the number of daily new cases has now stopped dropping, with a definite leveling off of cases since the beginning of July. The latest figures were based on the data from almost 3 million users and 14,429 swab tests done between 28 June to 11 July. 

You can find a regional breakdown of this data here.

What does this data mean?

For the keen data watchers among you, you will notice that the numbers over the past few weeks appear to show that new cases in the UK have been increasing, however, the current estimate is still within the confidence intervals of the lowest estimate so any increase is not yet deemed significant. 

In short, this means, the numbers look like they are going up but we can’t say with full certainty that this definitely means that COVID cases are on the rise. 

The latest prevalence figures estimate that 26,020 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. The Midlands is still showing the highest number of predicted cases, but the numbers have been decreasing over the last few weeks suggesting that the localised lockdown and recent media attention could be responsible. However, for regions like the North East and Yorkshire the predicted numbers still remain higher than others. 

The COVID Symptom Study app’s prevalence estimate is still within the confidence bounds of the most recent and smaller ONS Infection survey numbers, (95% confidence interval: 5,000 to 31,000) in England during the two week period that goes from the 22nd June to the 5th July 2020. 

Prevalence is the number of symptomatic cases in the population based on the daily new cases and symptoms being logged in the app, whereas incidence rates are simply the number of daily new cases based on the results from swab tests. Click here for more detail on the new prevalence figures.

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

“After months of seeing the number of COVID cases falling in the UK, we are now seeing those numbers bottom out. We aren’t surprised to see this happening given the easing of lockdown and more and more people working and socialising. The team is keeping a very close eye on the data in order to allow us to spot any potential new hotspots and pick up regions with a significant increase.
The virus is not going away any time so it is really important that people are adhering to the public health messages around social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks. We were pleased to see the government taking the decision to rule that face masks should be worn in shops and other public places, as all measures are important in stopping an increase in the transmission of the virus.
We believe the public should be aware of all the many symptoms of the virus, particularly in the early stages, and we have recently highlighted the need to look out for unusual skin rashes. Over time and with the help of our loyal loggers we will have a better understanding if the possible increase in cases is significant.”

An important note:

You will notice that the numbers over the past few weeks appear to show that new cases in the UK are increasing, however, the current estimate is still within the confidence intervals of previous estimates so any increase is not yet deemed significant.  

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