English COVID-19 infections rise again, 1-in-85 people infected - survey

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LONDON (Reuters) -The prevalence of COVID-19 cases in England jumped again in the week to Dec. 18, with around 645,800 people, or 1-in-85, estimated to be infected, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Thursday.

"The percentage of people testing positive has continued to increase sharply in London, the East of England, and the South East; London now has the highest percentage of people testing positive," the ONS said.

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Prevalence in the preceding week was 1-in-95, the ONS had estimated.

Separately on Thursday, England's Test and Trace service said it had recorded a 58% week-on-week increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases detected.

It said during the week Dec. 10-16, 139,332 positive cases were transferred to its contact tracers, 88.1% of whom were reached and told to self-isolate, a slight rise on 87.5% recorded in the previous week.

The proportion of the contacts of positive cases reached remained consistent at 92.6%, it said.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by William Schomberg and Alex Richardson)

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