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Last updated on Friday, 12 January 2024 at 11:22am

COVID-19 cases rate rolling mean

Summary

Topic
COVID-19
Category
cases
API name
COVID-19_cases_rateRollingMean

Rationale

The timely identification of cases is important to controlling the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the burden on healthcare systems.

Definition

This metric shows the rate per 100,000 people of reported new cases in the 7-day period ending on the dates shown. New cases are reported by specimen date - the date the first sample that identified the infection was taken from an individual.

Methodology

COVID-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and testing them for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If the test is positive, this is a case. Cases identified using two types of test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are reported on the dashboard: • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which require processing in a laboratory • Rapid lateral flow virus (LFD) tests, which are swab tests that give results in less than an hour, without needing to go to a laboratory. All lateral flow tests reported via the “Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result” GOV.uk service are included. The service cannot be used to report results from test kits that are paid for, and therefore results from paid for test kits are not included in figures on the dashboard. People who test positive again after a given time period are counted as new cases. In England people are counted as new cases if they test positive again more than 90 days after their last positive test. Data for the last 7 days by specimen date are considered incomplete as it takes time to get test results and record them on relevant lab systems. Cases data for England includes all positive lab-confirmed PCR test results plus, positive rapid lateral flow tests unless followed by a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. The value shown on a given date is the total of the reported new cases in the 7 days up to and including that date divided by the number of individuals in the population, then multiplied by 100,000.

Caveats

This figure will underestimate the actual number of COVID-19 infections due to people not testing or not being able to report LFD results.

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