Third wave of Covid-19 in England: what does the latest data show?

·6-min read

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm on Monday that a final easing of coronavirus restrictions will take place in England on July 19.

Mask wearing will no longer be a legal requirement, rules on social distancing will be scrapped in most situations, and nightclubs will be able to reopen.

The announcement comes as the third wave of Covid-19 continues to spread across England, with case rates rising sharply and hospital numbers climbing slowly, though deaths are still at a low level.

Here is an overview of the latest data, based on analysis by the PA news agency:

– New cases

The rate of new cases of coronavirus in most areas of England is now back at levels last seen during the winter.

A total of 154,262 new confirmed cases were recorded in England in the seven days to July 4, according to Public Health England – the equivalent of 274.1 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 172.9 per 100,000 one week earlier, and is the highest rate of new cases since January 28.

It is still some way below the second-wave peak of 680.6 per 100,000, however.

HEALTH Coronavirus England
(PA Graphics)

Case rates in all regions of England are now at their highest level since at least February.

North-east England is recording the highest rate, with 613.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 4.

This is the highest rate for the region since comparable figures began in summer 2020, when mass testing was first introduced across the country.

All other regions are recording their highest rate since late January or early February this year, except for Yorkshire and the Humber where the rate is the highest since mid-November last year.

Case rates are also continuing to rise for all age groups, with 20 to 29-year-olds recording the highest rate of 614.3 cases per 100,000 people.

It is the highest rate for this age group since the week to January 17.

Both five to nine-year-olds (248.6 cases per 100,000) and 10 to 19-year-olds (578.6) are now recording their highest rates since comparable figures began.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 304 (97%) are currently recording a week-on-week rise in cases rates and only 11 (3%) have seen a fall.

– Infections

Coronavirus infections in England are estimated to have risen to a level last seen in February.

Around one in 160 people in private households had Covid-19 in the week to July 3 – up from one in 260 in the previous week, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest level since the week to February 19.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in all regions, with north-east and north-west England having the highest proportion of people likely to test positive in the most recent week: around one in 80.

Eastern England had the lowest estimate: around one in 350.

When modelling the level of infection among different age ranges in England, the ONS said rates have increased for all groups.

Around one in 45 people from school year 12 to age 24 are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 3, the highest positivity rate for any age group.

– Covid-19 patients in hospital

Patient numbers have risen to levels last seen around three months ago.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England stood at 2,209 as of July 8, according to the latest figures from NHS England.

This is up 42% from a week earlier and is the highest since April 9.

Patient numbers are not rising as sharply as cases or infections, however.

They are also a long way below the record 34,336 Covid-19 hospital patients at the peak of the second wave on January 18.

HEALTH Coronavirus England
(PA Graphics)

All regions are currently reporting a rise in Covid-19 patients, with north-west England having the highest number (596, up week-on-week by 20%), followed by the combined region of north-east England and Yorkshire (442, up 74%), London (411, up 25%) and the Midlands (389, up 70%).

Meanwhile hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 in England stood at 458 on July 6 – the highest daily total since March 10.

Admissions peaked at 4,134 on January 12.

– Vaccinations

Around 86% of adults in England are estimated to have received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, with around 65% having had both doses.

Vaccine take-up varies between different age groups, however.

HEALTH Coronavirus Vaccinations
(PA Graphics)

While more than 95% of adults in the age groups 50-59, 60-69 and 70-79 are estimated to have had one dose, the latest figure for people aged 80 and over is 94%, suggesting around one in 17 in this age group has still not received any Covid-19 vaccine.

Among younger groups, 88% of 40-49 year-olds are likely to have had one dose, along with 78% of 30-39 year-olds and 60% of 18-29 year-olds.

These estimates are for vaccinations delivered up to July 4.

The Government has said it will have offered all adults in England a first dose by July 19.

Just under 92% of people aged 80 and over are estimated to have had both doses of vaccine, suggesting around one in 12 is not fully vaccinated.

HEALTH Coronavirus Vaccinations
(PA Graphics)

Some 93% of eligible residents of older adults care homes in England are estimated to be fully vaccinated, but only 75% of eligible staff in these care homes are likely to have had both jabs.

Nearly 91% of the clinically extremely vulnerable in England have received both doses, along with 77% of those aged 16 to 64 classed as at risk or a carer.

Latest estimates from Public Health England suggest vaccinations have directly averted over 46,300 hospital admissions in England, while the direct and indirect impact of the vaccination programme is believed to have prevented somewhere between 7.5 and 8.9 million infections.

It is also estimated to have prevented between 29,000 and 31,800 deaths.

– Deaths

There has been a very slight increase in the average number of deaths reported each day of people in England who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

The number stood at 21 as of July 8, up from 14 a week earlier and 12 the week before that.

But this is still far below the sort of numbers seen in January and February of this year.

The seven-day average for reported deaths peaked at 1,135 on January 23.

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