The FINANCIAL — In the weeks ending 24 April 2021, the percentage of people who would have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased in all four countries of the UK.
In England, officials estimate that 54,200 people (0.10% or 1 in 1,010 people) in the community (those not in hospitals, care homes or institutional settings) had COVID-19 in the week ending 24 April 2021; this is a decrease on the 90,000 people estimated to have had COVID-19 in the week ending 16 April 2021.
The percentage of people testing positive decreased in all regions except in Yorkshire and The Humber and the East of England, where trends are uncertain.
In Wales, officials estimate that 1,900 people (0.06% or 1 in 1,570 people) had COVID-19 in the week ending 24 April 2021, down from 3,600 people the week before.
In Northern Ireland, an estimated 1,900 people (0.11% or 1 in 940 people) had COVID-19 in the two weeks ending 24 April 2021, down from 2,800 in the week ending 16 April 2021.
In Scotland, officials estimate that 8,200 people (0.16% or 1 in 640 people) had COVID-19 in the week ending 16 April 2021, down from 9,300 people the week before.
The percentage of people testing positive decreased in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the weeks up to 24 April 2021
There were 260 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales in the week ending 23 April 2021 – a decrease of 102 deaths compared with the previous week.
The number of recorded deaths from all causes also fell in the latest week to 9,941, which is 5.3% below the five-year average. This is the seventh consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.
Around 1 in 38 deaths (2.6%) in the latest week involved COVID-19, the lowest proportion since the week ending 25 September 2020.
Deaths from all causes were below the five-year average
Transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a complex continuous risk, which can occur in any setting. Work location, mode of travel to work, and ability to socially distance at work were all associated with the likelihood of testing positive. However, these factors alone cannot be assumed to be the only cause of the spread of the virus.
Between the end of November 2020 and the middle of February 2021, people who travelled to work were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) than those working from home, regardless of mode of travel.
There is limited evidence that those who travelled on foot, by bike or “other” means were less likely to test positive than those who travelled to work by train, bus, car or taxi but this finding is less certain as confidence intervals are wide. For those working outside the home, there is evidence that the more difficult it is to maintain social distancing, the more likely they are to test positive for COVID-19.
Most people report fully adhering to self-isolation requirements
Of people who were required to self-isolate, the majority (84%) fully adhered to requirements for the whole self-isolation period.
This data was collected between 12 and 16 April 2021 and found that 84% of those who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) reported having no contact with non-household members while they had any symptoms of illness or during the entire self-isolation period. This follows a new legal duty introduced in September 2020 in England requiring people to self-isolate in their home (or other accommodation) and not leave unless in exceptional circumstances (for example, a medical emergency).
There were fewer cases of coronavirus in secondary schools in March 2021 than over winter 2020
According to the latest findings from the COVID-19 Schools’ Infection Survey, the percentage of secondary school students and staff who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) was lower in late March 2021 than in November 2020. The proportion of pupils testing positive was also lower than in December 2020.
In late March 2021, shortly after students returned to school following the loosening of lockdown measures, 0.33% of secondary students in the schools taking part in the study were estimated to test positive for coronavirus. This is a lower proportion than were estimated to test positive in the first round of testing, carried out in November 2020.
Among secondary staff in school, 0.32% were estimated to test positive. This was lower than levels seen in both previous rounds of testing, carried out in November and December 2020.