The weekly @PHE_uk surveillance report has just been published - 17th-23rd May. 🧵

- PCR positivity beginning to creep up
- BIG differences in case rates by age, region, ethnicity, and deprivation…
While nationally, PCR positivity had been around 0.75% for the previous four weeks, it's crept up this week.

Now 0.87% in the most recent week.
The regional/age split tells its own story with increasing case rates among 10-19y/o and other younger age groups, particularly in parts of N and East Mids.

Although also concerning early signal in parts of N and Mids in those aged 60+ (the heat map is for NW).
And at local authority level, it's very stark.

Case rates ranging from 422/100,000 in Bolton and 331 in Blackburn with Darwen, to <5/100,000 in places like W Sussex and Cambridgeshire.
These differences are reflected in the data on ethnicity by region, and deprivation by age.

Yet again, people from more deprived population groups and minority ethnic groups, particularly those of Asian ethnicity, are being hardest hit.
As case rates in some parts of the country rise, reported outbreaks in care homes and hospitals remain extremely low (yay!).
With little change in report outbreaks among edu settings for the time being.

Reported outbreaks mainly from London, NW and East Mids (note, these data aren't adjusted for the numbers of educational settings in these regions)
Finally on this, very early signal around possible increase in reported outbreaks linked to workplaces and to restaurants/cafes.

One to watch.
When it comes to hospitalisations, very limited signal overall but potential early signal of rise in admission rate in West Mids (up to 1.6/100,000 from 1.0 the week before)
And as we know, some parts of the country are beginning to see rising numbers of inpatients.

Some patients will inevitably become unwell enough to require admission, and as case rates rise so will admission rates with a lag of 10 days or so.

This is Bolton's local hospital.
The vaccine is definitely helping keep case rates lower, slowing transition and reducing the likelihood of severe disease and death.

They still work against the B.1.617.2 variant.

Please continue to get vaccinated when offered.

And on that, whilst overall vaccination uptake is still astonishingly high...
...this is not the case for everyone.

Local rising case rates are driven by structural inequalities in housing, employment etc, of which lower vaccine uptake is a symptom, not the cause.

To truly tackle COVID and level-up health requires addressing these structural drivers.
And in the mean time, increasing vaccination uptake remains a solution for preventing the most severe outcomes.

About which there's thankfully a healthy evidence base (HT @Azeem_Majeed @bmj_latest):…

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More from @ADMBriggs

13 May
This week's T&T data - covers 29/4-05/05

- fewer LFDs
- fewer cases
- fewer contacts reached and it's taking longer, plus what might be the role of international cases
- and why this is the last update to our @HealthFdn performance tracker.…
Firstly on the TT data.

Number of people tested is down this week by 7% to 4.61m, with number of positive cases also down 9% to 14,313.
The drop in people tested is again due to changes in the use of rapid LFD tests for people without symptoms, rather than changes to PCR test use.

And nearly 2/3 of the fall is due to less reported secondary school testing.
Read 17 tweets
13 May
Short thread on today's PHE Surveillance Report, covers 3rd-9th May.🧵

Shows very similar case rates to previous weeks, but with some clear divergence for 10-19y/os, and for parts of East mids, NW, and Yorkshire/Humber.…
Furthermore, the significant increases in case rates in some parts of the country continues to raise concerns about potential community spread of variants of concern such as VOC-21APR-02 (first identified in India) among the very places already most impacted by the pandemic.
In the most recent week, case rates in Bolton have doubled from 85 per 100,000 to 188 per 100,000, for Blackburn with Darwen they've doubled to 107/100,000.
Read 8 tweets
13 May
Latest REACT study shows that case rates between 15th April and 3rd May (round 11) fell by 50% compared with 11th - 30th March (round 10), from 0.20% to 0.10%

Differences by age, region, ethnicity and deprivation remain (with large uncertainty). short 🧵…
*Note very wide uncertainty intervals as case rates fall*

In general, highest rates estimated in West Mids and London, and likely falls in all ages except 25-34y/o.

ONS survey tomorrow will update on this.
See the adjusted results showing general trend for higher case rates in bigger households, more deprived and Asian ethnicity - esp with higher viral loads (right hand column).

Again - big uncertainty but consistent with everything else we see with COVID and inequalities.
Read 4 tweets
6 May
Latest T&T data: wk 22-28 April

- no big shifts in numbers tested by LFDs/PCR, and ongoing fall in +ve cases

- but some interesting changes in contact tracing: fewer contacts reached and it's taking longer, and the reasons aren't straightforward🧵…
While the number of cases transferred to contact tracing fell by 12% to 10,793, the number of close contacts identified rose by 2% to 49,151.

For the first time since the start of August, avg contacts per case was >5.
And of those contacts, the percentage reached has dropped wk on wk for the past 5 weeks, from 90% to 84%.
Read 15 tweets
6 May
This week's PHE surveillance report, 26th April - 2nd May

- despite easing of social restrictions & schools returning after Easter hols, case numbers still going down among all ages.
- still regional/local variation
- and ++concerns around variants.🧵…
Still some big differences by region - particularly looking at younger adults in Yorkshire and Humber.

Case rates in Y&H are 42/100,000, more than 3 times the rates in the SW at just 12/100,000.
This is even more apparent when looking at data by local authority.
Read 14 tweets
22 Apr
Updated our T&T performance tracker, covers 8-14th April.

Key points
- lots of changes to LFD use, with differences across the country
- despite falling cases, end-to-end journey time from symptoms to reaching contacts increasing

Detail in 🧵…
After a dip over the Easter bank holiday w/e, number of people tested increased by 15% to 4.4m

although this is still some way off the peak of 6.2m four weeks earlier
The changes have been mainly due to variations in use of rapid lateral flow devices (LFDs).

These have been rolled out by the government for people without symptoms over recent months and are now available to everyone in England.
Read 18 tweets

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