Number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England rises by 22%

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The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England has risen by 22%, reaching the highest level in six weeks.

A total of 17,162 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the country at least once in the week to May 26 according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

That is a rise of more than a fifth on the previous week and the highest number of people to test positive since the week to April 14.

Covid-19 tests in England
(PA Graphics)

NHS Providers, the membership organisation for NHS hospitals, mental health, community and ambulance services, said it is “concerned” by the rise in the number of people testing positive.

Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at the organisation, said: “Some of this rise will be linked to the Delta variant, serving as a reminder that we must continue to play our part and observe the rules on social contact.

“We urge everyone to get a Covid-19 vaccine when it’s your turn.

“While the vaccination programme has been successful so far, there is still a risk from the new variants.

“NHS Test and Trace must play its part to contain this threat.”

Meanwhile, the number of rapid Covid-19 tests carried out in England has fallen to its lowest level in six weeks.

All members of the public are eligible to take two of these quick lateral flow device (LFD) tests a week.

Just over 4.8 million rapid tests were carried out in England in the week to May 26, the latest figures show.

It is the fifth week in a row that the number has fallen.

It is down from a peak of just over 7.6 million LFD tests in the week to March 17, which coincided with the return of secondary students to school.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The rapid tests can be done at home and give results in 30 minutes or less without the need for processing in a laboratory.

They are different to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which are processed in a lab, and are used mainly for anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms and to confirm a positive rapid test result.

One million polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were conducted in the week to May 26, the highest total for two months, and up 3% on the previous week.

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