Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19): ONS Infection Survey – headline results – 1 June 2022

Results from the ONS COVID-19 infection survey from 1 June 2022.

This document is part of a collection


ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey Results 1 June 2022

The COVID-19 Infection Survey aims to measure:

  • how many people across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland test positive for a COVID-19 infection at a given point in time, regardless of whether they report experiencing symptoms
  • the average number of new positive test cases per week over the course of the study
  • the number of people who test positive for antibodies

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish estimates for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland on their website.

The data presented in this publication is available in the reference tables on the ONS website.

All data are provisional and subject to revision.

Information on this release

This week, the ONS have released the latest headline results two days early, on Wednesday 1 June 2022 rather than on Friday, to accommodate the Jubilee Bank Holidays on 2 and 3 June 2022. As a result, this publication has also been brought forward. The next release of results will be on Friday 10 June 2022 when we will publish a full article.

These early estimates are provisional and are subject to change as the ONS receive more data, but they have undergone sufficient quality assurance to ensure that they are based upon an acceptable number of test results received up to the end of the reference week.

Main Points

In the week 22 to 28 May 2022, the estimated percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Scotland was 2.01% (95% credible interval: 1.66% to 2.40%) (see note 2 for further information about credible intervals). The estimated percentage of people testing positive in Scotland decreased in the most recent week.

In the same week, it is estimated that 105,900 people in Scotland had COVID-19 at any given time (95% credible interval: 87,600 to 126,100); this equates to around 1 in 50 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 60 to 1 in 40) (see note 1 for further information about ratios).

Estimates for the other nations of the UK are as follows:

  • in England, the percentage of people testing positive continued to decrease in the week ending 27 May 2022: 1.44% (95% credible interval: 1.35% to 1.53%), equating to around 1 in 70 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 75 to 1 in 65).
  • in Wales, the percentage of people testing positive continued to decrease in the week ending 28 May 2022: 1.30% (95% credible interval: 0.97% to 1.71%), equating to around 1 in 75 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 100 to 1 in 60).
  • in Northern Ireland, the trend in the percentage of people testing positive was uncertain in the week ending 28 May 2022: 1.33% (95% credible interval: 0.94% to 1.81%), equating to around 1 in 75 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 110 to 1 in 55).

Charts showing the latest modelled daily estimates and official reported estimates of the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in each of the four nations of the UK can be found in the ONS weekly bulletin.

Further information

This article is published at 14:00, at the same time as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) release their bulletin which contains estimates for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This is later than the standard release time for official statistics of 09.30 am. The previously planned time for this ONS release and our corresponding publication was 12:00. However this has changed to 14:00 to ensure adequate time for quality assurance prior to publication.

Early management information from the COVID-19 Infection Survey is made available to government decision-makers to inform their response to COVID-19. Occasionally, the ONS may publish figures early if it is considered in the public interest. The ONS will ensure that it pre-announces any ad hoc or early publications as soon as possible. These will include supporting information where possible to aid user understanding. This is consistent with guidance from the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR).

An article on the proportion of people living in private households in Scotland who would have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies was published on 1 June 2022 on the Scottish Government website and ONS website. This release includes modelled estimates of the percentage of the population with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

An article on how often individuals in Scotland are reporting social contact with other people outside their own household (either socially distanced or physical contact) and estimates of the percentage of people testing positive that reported symptoms was published on 11 May 2022 on the Scottish Government website. The ONS also published an article on 11 May 2022 on the contacts and symptoms analysis in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland on the ONS website. Additionally, the ONS published an article on 25 May 2022 on the UK level analysis on the characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19, reinfections with COVID-19, and risk factors of reinfections with COVID-19 on the ONS website.

An article on the prevalence of ongoing symptoms following COVID-19 infection in the UK was published on the ONS website on 1 June 2022. This release includes estimates of the prevalence of self-reported “long COVID”, and the duration of ongoing symptoms following confirmed COVID-19 infection.

An article on the cumulative number of people in the UK who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the survey was published on 22 April 2022 on the Scottish Government Website and ONS website. This release includes modelled cumulative percentages of the population who have tested positive for COVID-19 during the survey period by country.

How this data can be used

The data in this bulletin can be used for:

  • estimating the number of positive cases among the population living in private households, including cases where people do not report having any symptoms
  • identifying differences in numbers of positive cases between UK countries and different regions in England
  • estimating the number of new cases and change over time in positive cases

The data cannot be used for:

  • measuring the number of cases and infections in care homes, hospitals and/or other communal establishments
  • providing information about recovery time of those infected

The results in this article are:

  • provisional and subject to revision
  • based on infections occurring in private households
  • subject to uncertainty; a credible or confidence interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis

Methodology

The results are based on nose and throat swabs provided by participants to the study, obtained from fieldwork which started in Scotland on 21 September 2020.

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

The COVID-19 Infection Survey bulletins and datasets available on the ONS website also include results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Welsh Government and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland also publish results from the COVID-19 Infection Survey for Wales and Northern Ireland respectively:

Further details on methodology can be found in the COVID-19 Infection Survey methodology article.

Notes

  1. The ratios presented are rounded to the nearest 100 if over 1,000, to the nearest 10 if under 1,000, to the nearest 5 if under 100 and to 1 if under 20. This may result in credible intervals that appear to be similar to the estimated average ratio. These ratios do not represent a person's risk of becoming infected, since risk of infection depends on a number of factors such as contact with others or whether a person has been vaccinated.
  2. The model used to provide these estimates is a Bayesian model: these provide 95% credible intervals. A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. 95% credible intervals are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval. A credible interval gives an indication of the degree of uncertainty of an estimate, showing the precision of a sample estimate.
  3. There is a higher degree of uncertainty in estimates for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland relative to England. This is indicated by wider credible intervals and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.
  4. Estimates are based on confirmed positive test results. The remaining swabs are either negative and included in analysis, or inconclusive and not included in analysis. Some swabs are test failures, which also are not included in analysis. The impact of excluding inconclusive results on estimates of positive infections is likely to be very small and unlikely to affect the trend.
  5. Due to the timeliness of the data received from the laboratories and occurrence of public holidays there are gaps and overlaps between some of the official estimates, this does not impact the comparability of these estimates.
  6. These official estimates present the best estimate at that point in time. Modelled estimates are used to calculate the official reported estimate. The model smooths the series to understand the trend and is revised each week to incorporate new test results, providing the best indication of trend over time.
Back to top