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Coronavirus infections rising in England

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Coronavirus infections are rising in England, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggest.

A sample of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals, were swabbed to test for current infection.

The ONS says daily cases have risen from an estimated 2,800 to 4,200 since last week.

However there is not enough data to suggest a higher proportion of positive tests in any particular region.

The ONS's estimates of daily cases are higher than those reported by the Department of Health and Social Care because they include people without symptoms who would not otherwise have applied for a test.

Confirmed cases reported by the government for the same period were between 339 and 721 daily over the same period (20- 26 July).

About 350,000 people were newly tested for coronavirus, not including those who were tested as part of the ONS's surveillance study.

These are tests involving a nose and throat swab which can diagnose a current active coronavirus infection, but do not show if someone has had the virus in the past.

Despite the ONS figures suggesting a rise in infections, the official estimate of the virus's reproduction or R number (a measure of whether cases are rising or falling) for England was between 0.8 and 1 as of 31 July.

An R number below one indicates the number of infections is shrinking.

It's calculated using a range of different measures including hospital admissions and deaths.

Because it takes time for an infection to progress to the point of hospitalisation and, in the worst cases, death, there is a time lag involved.

It's possible the latest estimate of R isn't capturing more recent upticks in infection.

The ONS has consistently tested a sample of the population whether or not they have symptoms, so may be better placed to spot a rise in cases in the population at an earlier stage, before they translate to sickness and hospitalisation.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

Public Health England figures on coronavirus cases were updated on 2 July to include people tested in the wider community, as well as hospitals and healthcare workers, causing the numbers to increase sharply. Figures for the rest of the UK already included people tested in the wider population.

A modern browser with JavaScript and a stable internet connection are required to view this interactive.

Deaths are death registrations where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Source: ONS, NRS and NISRA – updated weekly. Although the numbers of deaths per 100,000 people shown in the charts above have not been weighted to account for variations in demography between local authorities, the virus is known to affect disproportionately older people, BAME people, and people from more deprived households or employed in certain occupations.

Cases include positive teRead More – Source

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