The COVID-19 Infection Survey results: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

1. Can you please detail how many people were actually tested who are included within the Coronavirus (COVID-19): ONS infection survey results - 23 October 2020

2. How does this number compare to your planned number for community testing for the ONS survey.


The COVID-19 Infection Survey results published on Friday the 23rd of October include information gathered from Scottish households up to and including the 16th of October. In the first fortnightly period between the 19th of September and the 2nd of October, a total of 1,321 individuals were included in the sample. In the second non-overlapping fortnightly period from the 3rd of October to the 16th of October, a total of 4,639 individuals were included in the sample. These figures can be found at the following link:

- Tab 7a of the worksheet with date superseded: 30th October 2020 (this was originally published on the 23rd of October). Please note that as these periods are by definition non-overlapping and individuals are frequently tested multiple times across time, to avoid duplication these fortnightly totals cannot be combined. Fieldwork is being scaled up with the aim of testing 15,000 participants per fortnightly period in Scotland. This figure is stated in Section 8.1 of the study protocol, which can be found here:

The first results for the survey were published earlier than expected as recruitment was initially higher than anticipated. As more participants are enrolled in subsequent weeks, more detailed analysis will become available.

More information, including the latest statistics on the estimated prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in the community in Scotland can be found on the Scottish government website at

or on the Office for National Statistics website at

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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