Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic (issue no.81)

Latest findings in modelling the COVID-19 epidemic in Scotland, both in terms of the spread of the disease through the population (epidemiological modelling) and of the demands it will place on the system, for example in terms of health care requirement.

This document is part of a collection


1. The modelling in this report uses S-gene test data to 6th December only.

2. Using data to 6th December 2021.

3. Particular care should be taken when interpreting this estimate as it is based on low numbers of cases, hospitalisations, or deaths and / or dominated by clustered outbreaks. It should not be treated as robust enough to inform policy decisions alone.

4. The cyan bars use Covid-19 test data and purple bars use multiple sources of data. The estimates produced by the Scottish Government are the two on the left. (Yellow uses confirmed cases from PHS and deaths from NRS; green uses wastewater data).The UKHSA consensus range is the right‑most (red). Data to 6th December. R, incidence and growth rate as of 23rd November.

5. All scenarios are based on current vaccine roll-out plans and efficacy assumptions. Data to 6th December.

6. The actual positive tests are adjusted to coincide with the estimated day of infection

7. Actual infections are uncertain, with the range d Fisplayed representing between a 25% (higher infections) and 100% (lower infections) ascertainment rate for positive tests. This uncertainty is not reflected in the projected range, which is based on a 50% ascertainment rate.

8. Actual data does not include full numbers of CPAP. ICU bed actuals include all ICU patients being treated for Covid-19 including those over 28 days.

9. Two week projections are provided here.

10. Values are included in Table 1 in the Technical Annex.

11. Scottish Government Covid-19 Evidence Report, published 10th December 2021.

12. Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic - (

13. Note that the sample analysis capacity this past week has been reduced to under 100 samples (half that of normal) due to unforeseen technical difficulties at SEPA facilities. While these issues have now been fixed, there has resulted in reduced data coverage, implying the detailed WW outputs for less populated regions of Scotland (as presented in Table 2) should be considered less reliable this week.

14. Anomalously high values, one in Seafield (Edinburgh) in mid-February (see Issue 40), one in Dunblane in mid-June, and two in Daldowie in January, were removed. For this graph, a wastewater RNA average using the last 7 days of data is computed at every sampling date. Information from the ONS Coronavirus Infection Survey is overlaid, with a scale chosen to approximately match the displayed peak of the survey percentage to the recent peaks in cases.

15. Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (

16. Advancements in detection and interpretation practices allow us to identify when outlying results are anomalous rather than indicators of spikes in Covid-19 levels. Table 2 provides population weighted daily averages for normalised WW Covid-19 levels with the outliers removed. See Technical Annex in Issue 60 of these Research Findings for further details.

17. Coverage as for week beginning 1st December 2021.



Back to top