Coronavirus infections in England levelling off, data suggests

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show a slight overall drop in cases, though there are wide regional differences.

Coronavirus testing
Coronavirus testing

Covid-19 infections across England are levelling off but there are still wide regional variations, according to new data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that “in recent weeks, the positivity rate in England has shown signs of levelling”, with around one in 85 people infected with coronavirus in the week November 15 to 21.

Its Covid-19 Infection Survey is based on more than 712,000 tests gathered from households across the UK over the last six weeks, regardless of whether people have symptoms.

It found an estimated 633,000 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between November 15 and 21, a slight decrease from 664,700 the week before.

The ONS reported rates have increased in the East Midlands but have continued to decrease in the North West during lockdown.

Infection rates in the West Midlands, East of England, London, South East and South West now also appear to be decreasing, with the highest rates seen in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and the North East.

When it comes to age groups, only secondary school age children are seeing a rise in infection rates, while they have dropped in adults aged 35 and over.

Among very young children rates have levelled off, as they have for young adults.

Rates of infection have decreased in Northern Ireland and Wales in recent weeks, the ONS said, but appear to have increased in Scotland in the most recent week.

Ruth Studley, head of analysis for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “At a national level in England, the overall number of infections appears to be levelling off at around one in 85 people who would test positive in the community.”

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