Covid data shows one in 50 people infected in England

Covid infection levels are continuing to rise in England, with more than 1.1 million people thought to have had the virus in the most recent week, data has revealed.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, based on swabs from randomly selected households, about one in 50 people in England – 2% of the population – had Covid in the week ending 24 September, an increase from one in 65 the week before.

Increases were seen in all parts of England in the most recent week, with levels highest in the north-east, at about one in 40 people. Infection levels were greatest in those aged 70 and over, also at about one in 40 people, and have risen in children aged two years to school year 6 (age 10-11), and in adults aged 35 and over.

While infection levels have also risen in the most recent week in Northern Ireland, the trend in Scotland and Wales is unclear.

Sarah Crofts, the deputy director for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said infection levels in England were reaching those last seen in mid-August.

“Among the over-70s, there has been a marked increase in infections in England this week, a trend which we will closely monitor as the winter months progress,” she said.

A report released on Thursday by the UK Health Security Agency revealed other signs that England was experiencing a new wave of Covid, with hospital admission rates in the south-west showing a 250% increase since mid-September.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, urged people to take individual action to curb the spread of Covid – including wearing face coverings.

“This week’s data shows concerning further increases in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisation rates, which are now at their highest level in months. Outbreaks in hospitals and care homes are also on the rise,” she said.

“Make sure you have any Covid-19 vaccinations you are eligible for and avoid contact with others if you feel unwell or have symptoms of a respiratory infection.

“If you are unwell, it is particularly important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who are more likely to have severe disease because of their ongoing health conditions.

“If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, wearing a face covering will also help stop infections spreading.”

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