COVID cases creeping back up, with Scotland topping the watch list

September 4, 2020

According to the latest COVID Symptom Study app figures, there are currently 1,974 daily new cases of COVID in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 29 August 2020 (excluding care homes).

The incidence number has crept up from last week which was 1,292 where the numbers had been holding steady since early July.

The latest figures were based on the data from 9,489 swab tests done between 9 August to 22 August. A full regional breakdown can be found here.

The latest prevalence figures estimate that 22,040 people currently have symptomatic COVID in the UK. The prevalence figures have risen slightly from last week with the R values slightly above 1. This figure does not include long term COVID sufferers.

The COVID Symptom Study app’s prevalence estimate is slightly lower, but still within the confidence bounds of the most recent and smaller ONS Infection survey last week with an estimated 28,200 people (95% credible interval: 20,100 to 37,900) in England during the one week period from the 14 to 20 August 2020. One reason that the COVID Symptom Study app estimate is consistently lower than the ONS is the data doesn't include asymptomatic cases. The previous large gap between the regions in North and South continues to reduce.

COVID Symptom Study Watch List

The COVID Symptom Study app’s Watch List this week sees East Renfrewshire, Scotland top the list and West Lothian enter at number 10, which is in line with the recent decision from Scottish Government to bring in restrictions to regions in West Scotland on the 1st September. Areas in the North of England again remain in the Watch List including; Manchester, Blackpool, Halton and Oldham.  

The aim of the COVID Symptom Study app Watch List is to highlight key areas of concern so that attention can be focused on those areas. When an area of concern is highlighted, increased testing should take place there to help confirm if the situation needs further action such as a localised lockdown. 

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

“While with increased economic activity and travel we are seeing the numbers starting to creep up again, it is good to see that when numbers start to rise, areas like around Glasgow are taking swift action to help stop the situation spreading. We are yet to see these localised outbreaks such as those in the North of England, having a negative impact on hospitals and NHS capacity, which suggests that those who are getting COVID may be milder cases with less of them ending up in hospital as a result, which is good news.”  
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