Number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England highest since July

Mid-July was the last time there was a major spike in Covid-19 cases in England.

A Covid-19 mass testing centre
A Covid-19 mass testing centre

The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England has risen to its highest level for nearly three months, in a sign that new cases of coronavirus are continuing to rise.

A total of 212,880 people tested positive at least once in the week to October 6, up 2% on the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

This is the highest number since the week to July 21, when the figure hit 309,476.

Mid-July was the last time there was a major spike in Covid-19 cases in England.

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

The latest numbers are still well below the level reached during the second wave of the virus, however.

Test and Trace figures peaked at 390,282 cases in the week to January 6.

Some 9.7% of people – nearly one in 10 – who were transferred to Test and Trace in England in the week to October 6 were not reached, meaning they were not able to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is down from 10.8% the previous week.

Anybody in England who tests positive for Covid-19, either through a rapid (LFD) test or a PCR test processed in a laboratory, is transferred to Test and Trace so their contacts can be identified and alerted.

Out of 200,074 people transferred to Test and Trace in the most recent week, 19,311 were not reached.

The latest figures also show that 73.7% of people who were tested for Covid-19 in England in the week to October 6 at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called “in-person” test – received their result within 24 hours.

This is up from 65.0% the previous week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that by the end of June 2020, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

He told the House of Commons on June 3 2020 he would get “all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that”.

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