Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Academic papers

Viral load in community SARS-CoV-2 cases varies widely and temporally [27 October 2020] 

Community prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in England during April to September 2020: Results from the ONS Coronavirus Infection Survey [27 October 2020]

Community prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in England: Results from the ONS Coronavirus Infection Survey Pilot [7 July 2020]

Articles

 

27 Octobercharacteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England: October 2020

  • From 28 September to 11 October 2020, around a third of those who tested positive for COVID-19 reported any evidence of symptoms at the time of their test.
  • From 25 September to 08 October 2020, 17- to 24-year-olds have higher positivity rates in both the higher and lower rate regions, however the difference from other age groups is much greater in the higher rate regions.
  • Urban areas in England have higher positivity rates than rural areas, with 0.70% of the community population in these areas testing positive for COVID-19 between 27 September and 10 October 2020 (95% confidence interval: 0.56% to 0.88%) while in rural areas 0.47% tested positive in the same period (95% confidence interval: 0.35% to 0.62%).
  • In the most recent fortnight (25 September to 08 October 2020) we no longer see a difference in positivity rates depending on travel abroad.

28 September - characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, including positivity trends over time in different subgroups

  • Between 23 July and 10 September, COVID-19 Infection rates have increased primarily in the least deprived areas within each region.

  • Positivity rates have increased over time amongst those aged under 35 years who had socially-distanced direct contact with six or more people aged 18 to 69 years, suggesting socially-distanced direct contact in younger age groups is an increasingly important factor in contracting COVID-19.

  • In recent weeks, COVID-19 positivity rates have been higher amongst people who have travelled abroad, although increases are seen in both those who have and have not travelled.

  • There is no evidence that working location is driving the greater increase in positivity rate in younger age groups in recent weeks.

  • There is evidence that Asian or Asian British individuals were more likely to have ever tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test than White individuals, suggesting they were more likely to have had COVID-19 in the past.

18 August 2020 - characteristics of people testing positive for the coronavirus

  • There is evidence that Asian or Asian British individuals were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than White individuals over the most recent eight weeks of the study, and there is also some evidence to suggest a higher percentage of individuals from ethnic minorities have had COVID-19 in the past.

  • Those in one-person households were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 on a nose and throat swab than individuals in two-person households over the latest eight-week period of the study, but there was no evidence of differences for larger households.

  • It is not possible to say whether those working in patient-facing healthcare roles were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than other individuals based on swabs taken over the most recent eight-week period of the study, although there is evidence to suggest this was not the case earlier in our study.

  • A higher percentage of those in patient-facing healthcare roles or resident-facing social care roles tested positive for antibodies, indicating past infection, than individuals not working in these roles.

  • While those who have symptoms are more likely to test positive on nose and throat swabs than those without symptoms, out of those who have ever tested positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs over the whole period of our study just 28% reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of their positive swab test.

  • There is no evidence to suggest differences in the likelihood of people of different ages testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs over the most recent eight-week period of the study, but there is some limited evidence to suggest a smaller proportion of older people within community settings test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, indicating they have had COVID-19 in the past.

  • There is no evidence to suggest differences in the likelihood of males and females testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs over the most recent eight-week period of the study nor evidence of differences in the percentage of people of either sex testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies, indicating they have had COVID-19 in the past.

  • It is not possible to say whether there were differences in the likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19 on a nose and throat swab over the most recent eight-week period of the study based on working location nor whether there were differences in the percentage of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies by working location, indicating they have had COVID-19 in the past.

7 July 2020 - characteristics of those testing positive on a nose and throat swab

  • Individuals working outside the home show higher rates of positive swab tests than those who work from home.
  • Over the study period, infection rates are higher for those working in patient-facing healthcare or resident-facing social care roles than for people not working in these roles.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that infection rates are lower in one- and two-person households than in larger households.
  • While those who have symptoms are more likely to test positive than those without symptoms, out of those within our study who have ever tested positive for COVID-19, 33% reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of their positive swab test.
  • There is evidence to suggest that infection rates are higher among people who have reported coming into recent contact with a known case of the coronavirus than those who have had no reported contact with potential cases.
  • It is too early to say whether COVID-19 infection rates differ between ethnic groups because the number of people testing positive in groups other than the White ethnic group are very small, although antibody test results provide an indication that individuals identifying as White are less likely to have had COVID-19 in the past than non-white ethnic groups.