PHE latest COVID surveillance report now out, as is ONS.

Covers 22nd-28th March 🧵

-cases down all ages except 10-19yrs.
-Significant geographical variation.
-Vax still motoring.
Fall in case rates in all age gps (incl 5-9y/o) *except* for 10-19y/o where they've increased by 7% to 110 cases/100,000.

Lowest cases rates are among 70-79y/o at just 11/100,000, and generally there's a step decrease in case rates for ages 60yrs+ compared to those <60yrs.
And among 10-19y/o, case rates seem to be rising mainly among 10-16y/os.
This is reflected in today's ONS data release (ending 27th March) where case rates look to be possibly rising in secondary school age, but less evidence of this in other ages.…
When looking at test data.

Overall, people tested with LFDs has ⬇️ 700k this week to 4.3m.

And the total number of tests conducted has also⬇️by 550k (note, that's T&T data for wk ending 24th March, 4d earlier than PHE data)
Of 550k⬇️LFDs done in wk ending 24th, around 800k⬇️LFDs were registered from secondary schools/colleges - those aged 10-19yrs.

This is alongside 100k⬆️ LFD tests in primary schools/nurseries, and minimal change in care homes.

Therefore approx. 150k⬆️elsewhere (businesses etc)
% of LFD tests coming back positive for secondary schools nearly doubled on the previous week from 0.056% to 0.106%, with 4,502 positive results - 1,669 more than the week before.

(note all counted as cases, as PCR confirmation in 2ndy schools was reintroduced on 29th March).
And PHE data show % of tests coming back positive for pillar 2 overall among 10-19y/o up by 50-70%

(this covers community based PCR tests as well as LFD tests, up from 0.24% to 0.40% (female), and 0.24% to 0.37% (male)).
And finally on this, and increase in the numbers of outbreaks/incidents being reported to PHE from secondary schools.
And just to be clear here:

Test data for school and colleges cover 18-24th March.

PHE data is for 10-19y/os and covers 22-28th March.

There unfortunately isn't any reporting of number of cases for both PCR and LFD separately by age, or by setting.
So, summary among secondary school age:
case rates⬆️(a little)
positivity rates⬆️(quite a bit)

ONS shows likely upward trend in case rates

This suggests some transmission in schools - some of which would be expected, and not yet clear evidence of moving up age groups.
But as @chrischirp says, although school age case rates not rocketing, this will still have implications for Long COVID, and really close ongoing attention needed of case rates among younger adults not yet vaccinated.

For primary school age, case rates and positivity rates all have fallen slightly on previous, and number of reported outbreaks are similar.

Also, ONS suggesting that although case rates relatively high, not currently rising. Therefore, possibly a rosier picture.
Back to the surveillance report, ongoing important changes by region - as we move to the next stage of the roadmap, case rates in Yorkshire and Humber really stand out, particularly among younger age groups.
This is also seen in today's ONS data release, with rates in parts of the N more than double that in parts of the S.
And again, really stark and worrying differences by local authority, with case rates as high as 172/100,000 in Rotherham compared with just 16 in Bath and NE Somerset.
As discussed last week, addressing the underlying structural drivers of transmission in areas with ongoing high case rates is critical, and in everyone's interests.

Differences in case rate by ethnicity continue to persist as well, these are particularly apparent in regions such as East of England.
And there's still very little change in the relative disproportionate case rates among those living in the most deprived areas.
Bit of a bump up in notified care home outbreaks
but no change in workplaces or hospitals.
Hospitalisations still falling, and falling faster than case rates.

The number in hospital is now similar to late June last yr.
For ICU admission rates it's not falling quite as fast (see 45-64yrs), but as vaccination roll-out starts to include younger adults, ICU Aadmission rates should hopefully continue to decline.
And as we know, deaths still really falling and excess mortality back to baseline.
Finally, can't get enough of these two charts.

1st dose vax uptake now above 85% for all age gps over 60yrs!
And here's another useful thread on the Long Covid data from @sunilbhop

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More from @ADMBriggs

27 Mar
If this is true, it is so disappointingly shortsighted.

I hope that @MattHancock and @Jochurchill4 will reconsider.

A quick walk through the evidence. 🧵
Nearly one in four reception age children and one in three children at year 6 are overweight or obese.

And there are stark inequalities - children in yr 6 are *more than twice* as likely to be obese if living in the most deprived areas compared to the least.
The government is aiming to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and reduce inequalities.

You can't do this with one or two policies here and there. Obesity is complex and multifaceted. To make any kind of dent, you need a multifaceted solution.…
Read 19 tweets
25 Mar
And most recent T&T data, 11/3 to 17/3. 🧵

- More testing
- Fewer cases
- And the numbers of non-household close contacts is rising again.

This week, just a short thread to pull out main points.… Image
Small increase in number of people tested but rise of 1.3m in number of LFDs used, driven by secondary schools. ImageImageImage
And case rates generally still falling, except among school age children

Read 10 tweets
25 Mar
This week's PHE surveillance report is now out, covering 15-21 March. 🧵

- increasing case rates among 5-9y/o and 10-19y/o
- important geographic variation
- hospital data still improving
- vax going strong
- and inequalities persist.…
Number of PCR and LFD tests done similar to the previous week, but positivity (percentage of tests that are positive) for PCR still trending down and is now 2.1%

For LFDs it's 0.19% compared with 0.15% the week before.
Case rates are falling less slowly, but they're still falling across all ages...

*except* 5-9y/o where they're up 59% to 63.5/100,000, and 10-19y/o where they're up 26% to 100.7/100,000.

Case rates lowest in vaccinated cohorts.
Read 23 tweets
24 Mar
Matt Hancock speaking at #LGAPublicHealth21.

The language has officially changed from health protection to health security - with the launch of the UK Health Security Agency, or UKHSA.
Will cover pandemic prevention and response, communicable disease, and external threats.

Chief Exec will be Dr Jenny Harries (Dep CMO with hugely impressive public health background)
Chair is Ian Peters, current Chair of @NHSBartsHealth
The challenge (as ever) will be maintaining interest and funding for the agency in between crises.

Stresses importance of relationships with DsPH, although no mention yet of local PHE Health Protection Teams who have also been critical in local response as well.
Read 8 tweets
18 Mar
This week's PHE surveillance report, covers 8th-14th March. 🧵

- cases falling but LFDs making it a harder to follow trends
- Still important inequalities by local authority, ethnicity, & deprivation.
- And good news on vaccines and seroprevalence…
case rates continue to drop, but increasingly difficult to interpret pillar 2 data (community testing) here as it includes both lateral flow devices (LFDs) for those without symptoms, and PCR tests for those with symptoms.
This is laid out here - LFD test use over 5m in the most recent week reported, with positivity 0.15% compared with 2.4% among PCR tests.
Read 22 tweets
17 Mar
The Test & Trace budget for 2021/22 is £15bn.

There's no specific remit letter and whilst a new strategy is awaited (see @CommonsPAC report), the most recent T&T business plan from Dec 2020 covers four key priority areas.…
Unpacking these.

For 'Team of Teams' - it's a lots of local gov led programmes: community testing, local contact tracing, support for self-isolation, and local outbreak management.
Read 11 tweets

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