The daily positivity estimate from the Covid-19 Infection Survey for Scotland has been increasing in recent weeks, and may be linked to the increasing prevalence of Omicron BA.2. By comparison, the weekly case rate (including reinfections) in Scotland has continued to decrease slightly in the most recent week but remains high compared to previous phases of the pandemic. Nationwide, wastewater Covid-19 RNA levels have remained stable.
The case rates (including reinfections) for those aged 60 or older continued to increase in the most recent week. This is in line with the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in care home residents throughout February 2022. By comparison, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Covid-19 Infection Survey shows that in Scotland there are early signs of an increase in the percentage of the population testing positive for Covid-19 in those around age 30 and those around age 60.
Covid-19 related daily hospital and short stay ICU occupancy have continued to increase in the most recent week. Combined ICU and hospital admissions related to Covid-19 appear to be fluctuating in the most recent month. Since 2 February, the proportion of Covid-19 related hospital admissions have increased among those aged 60 or older, who represented 57% of admissions in the week to 23 February. This age group has also seen increased Covid-19 case rates throughout the same period. The weekly number of Covid-19 deaths registered by NRS increased in the week to 27 February, as there was a higher number of deaths among those aged 75 to 84.
- The UK Health Security Agency's (UKHSA) consensus estimate for R in Scotland as at 15 February is between 0.9 and 1.1. Both the lower and upper limits of the R value have remained unchanged since the last published figure.
- As at 15 February, the UKHSA's consensus view was that the incidence of new daily infections in Scotland was between 246 and 526 per 100,000 people.
- The latest growth rate for Scotland as at 15 February was between -1% and 2%. The upper and lower limits have increased since the last published figure.
- As determined through the latest weekly ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey, in Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 increased in the week 20 to 26 February 2022. In the same week, it is estimated that around 1 in 19 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 20 to 1 in 17) in Scotland had Covid-19 at any given time.
- Nationwide, wastewater Covid-19 RNA levels have been fairly stable without showing any consistent trend in the last three weeks. The week ending on 28 February saw levels of around 64 million gene copies per person per day (Mgc/p/d) compared to 79 Mgc/p/d the previous week.
- By specimen date, the seven-day combined PCR and LFD case rate (including reinfections) continued to decrease slightly in Scotland in the week leading up to 26 February. There were 827 weekly combined PCR and LFD cases per 100,000 population in the week to 26 February, which is a 4% decrease from 860 weekly cases per 100,000 on 19 February and a 9% decrease from three weeks previously (905 on 5 February). This remains a high case rate compared to previous phases of the epidemic in Scotland.
- The week leading up to 26 February continued to see increasing case rates (including reinfections) among age groups 60 and older compared to the week ending 19 February. In the same period, the case rate (including reinfections) has continued to slightly decrease or remain at similar levels for most age groups below 60.
- Weekly number of positive Covid-19 cases for residents in care homes has gone up by 154% from 197 in the week to 6 February to 500 in the week to 27 February. This is lower than the previous peak of 833 weekly cases in the week to 9 January 2022, and 641 weekly cases in the week to 10 January 2021.
- In the week to and including 2 March, Covid-19 hospital occupancy showed an increase of 12% compared to the previous week ending 23 February, while combined ICU occupancy increased by 12% in the same time period.
- Admissions to hospital have fluctuated throughout the last four weeks, with 733 admissions in the week to 26 February. ICU admissions also appear to be fluctuating at low levels, with 20 admissions in the week to 1 March.
- While remaining at a high level, average hospital admissions related to Covid-19 in children and young adults under 22 have decreased in the three-week period to 23 February (100 average weekly admissions), compared to the previous three-week period to 16 February (112 average weekly admissions).
- The overall number of Covid-19 deaths has slightly increased in the week leading up to 27 February. Compared to the previous week ending 20 February, the number of deaths increased by 4%, or 3 deaths, to a total of 79 deaths in the week leading up to 27 February.
- In the week leading up to 26 February 2022, Orkney Islands had the highest combined PCR and LFD weekly case rate (including reinfections) by specimen date, reporting 1,866 cases per 100,000 population, followed by Shetland Islands with 1,858 cases per 100,000. Dumfries and Galloway had the lowest weekly combined LFD and PCR case rate in the same time period, reporting 563 cases per 100,000.
This report brings together a wide range of publically available figures from a range of data sources. These include publications by Scottish Government, Public Heath Scotland, National Records of Scotland and Office for National Statistics along with scientific publications and SAGE and UKHSA summaries where appropriate to summarise the state of the epidemic in Scotland in a given week. We also provide information on public attitudes to the virus from weekly YouGov polling surveys.
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