Publication - Statistics

Coronavirus (COVID-19): ONS Infection Survey – characteristics data for Scotland – 25 August 2021

Published: 25 Aug 2021

Characteristics data from the ONS COVID-19 infection survey published on 25 August 2021.

Published:
25 Aug 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): ONS Infection Survey – characteristics data for Scotland – 25 August 2021

ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey – Characteristics Data for Scotland – 25 August 2021

The article is based on findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) COVID-19 Infection Survey.

The COVID-19 Infection Survey aims to measure:

  • how many people test positive for COVID-19 infection at a given point in time, regardless of whether they report experiencing coronavirus symptoms
  • the average number of new infections per week over the course of the study
  • the number of people who test positive for antibodies, to indicate how many people are ever likely to have had the infection or have been vaccinated

The results are for private households only, and do not apply to those in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings. The population used in this analysis relates to the community population aged two years and over.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish analysis of the characteristics of those testing positive for COVID-19 in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the UK on their website.

The underlying data displayed in the charts in this publication is available in the reference tables on the ONS website.

Socially distanced and physical contacts - Scotland

This analysis looks at how often individuals are reporting social contact with other people outside their own household, either socially distanced or physical contact. As part of survey visits, individuals were asked how many people outside their household, aged 17 years and under, 18 to 69 years, and 70 years and over, they had had contact with up to seven days prior to each study visit.

Contact refers to either of the following:

  • socially distanced contact – direct contact with social distancing only
  • physical contact – physical contact, such as a handshake or personal care, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)

In this article, fortnightly estimates are available for the time period between 21 February to 7 August 2021. Data on socially distanced and physical contacts for Scotland was previously presented on 28 July 2021.

Estimates have been weighted to be representative of the total population in Scotland. Analysis includes all people taking part in the survey. The survey only includes those in the community population. Contact analysis is presented for school-age children (age two years to school year S4) and adults (school year S5 and above).

The number of contacts is reported in the following groups:

  • 0 (no reported contacts)
  • 1 to 5 (reported contacts)
  • 6 to 10 (reported contacts)
  • 11 to 20 (reported contacts)
  • 21 or more (reported contacts)

School-age children

The proportions of school-age children reporting each category of number of physical and socially distanced contacts are shown in Figures 1 and 2 respectively.

Physical contacts that school age respondents  have had with all age groups has generally increased since March 2021. Between the end of June and beginning of August 2021, there appears to have been a decrease in physical contacts children reported with those under 18. This corresponds to school holidays.

Socially distanced contacts that school age children have reported follows a similar trend.

In Figures 1 to 4, each bar represents one two-week period, denoted by the end date of that period.  For example, 10 July 2021 denotes the estimate relating to 27 June to 10 July 2021.

Figure 1: Proportion of school-age children by number of physical contacts with different age groups, from 20 September 2020 to 7 August 2021

Figure 2: Proportion of school-age children by number of socially distanced contacts with different age groups, from 20 September 2020 to 7 August 2021

Adults

The proportions of adults reporting each category of number of physical and socially distanced contacts are shown in Figures 3 and 4 respectively.

Physical contacts adults have had with all age groups has generally increased since March 2021, and socially distanced contacts follows a similar trend.

Figure 3: Proportion of adults by number of physical contacts with different age groups, from 20 September 2020 to 7 August 2021

Figure 4: Proportion of adults by number of socially distanced contacts with different age groups, from 20 September 2020 to 7 August 2021

Methodology and further information

  1. The population relates to the community population (private households) aged two years and over, and does not include people in hospital, care homes or students in halls of residence, where rates of COVID-19 infection are likely to be different.
  2. SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name given to the specific virus that causes COVID-19.

The full article was published by the Office for National Statistics on 25 August 2021, which includes data for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, can be accessed on the ONS website. The full article also includes analysis on reported COVID-19 positivity by patient-facing and non-patient facing job roles and analysis of Covid-19 reinfections at the UK level.

More information about the COVID-19 Infection Survey in Scotland can be found on the information page on the Scottish Government website, and previous COVID-19 Infection Survey data for Scotland can be found in this collection.

Contact

Scottish Government Covid-19 Infection Survey Team

Email: covidinfectionsurvey@gov.scot