UK COVID-19 cases have halved since October peak

December 4, 2020

According to the ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures based on swab tests data from up to five days ago, daily new cases of COVID in the UK are continuing to fall, however, cases in Scotland and Wales have plateaued. 

Key findings from ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey this week: 

  • There are currently 20,497 daily new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 29 November (excluding care homes) 
  • This compares to 29,311 daily new symptomatic cases a week ago and over 42,000 6 weeks ago.
  • The UK R value is 0.8
  • Regional R values are: England, 0.8. Wales, 1.0. Scotland, 1.0 (full table below) 
  • Across England, daily new cases are continuing to decrease in every region
  • The Midlands saw a dramatic decrease in daily new cases since the middle of November with an R value of 0.7
  • However, in Scotland, cases have fallen to the same levels of the end of September, but recently plateaued and there are still around 40,000 infectious individuals
  • In Wales, cases have fallen to around the same level as the end of the September but have started to rise again  (see full table of regional results and graph below)
  • Age groups: daily new cases continue to fall in the key over 60s group (see graph below)

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures are based on around one million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 11,124 swab tests done between 15 to 29 November 2020. 

If you’d like to receive the full daily report for the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, head to: https://covid.joinzoe.com/your-contribution 

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, comments on the latest data:
“It’s encouraging to see rates are still falling across most of the UK, and we’re now below 21,000 cases, less than half the peak of the second wave we saw in October. However, while we are also seeing steady falls in admissions now, it’s important that we aren’t complacent. Even though the UK will start the vaccine roll out next week, many of us won't be getting one for a few months, so keeping the numbers low and under control is really important for the NHS.
I’m confident that ZOE’s app data really is the most up-to-date picture we have. The data’s tracking well with the other Government data and hospital admissions and the paper out today in The Lancet Public Health confirms our self-reported data is in close agreement with traditional surveys like ONS and produces the same figures without the lag periods.”


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