HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021 Read more

Publication - Factsheet

ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey: information

Published: 17 Sep 2020
Last updated: 9 Apr 2021 - see all updates

Information about the COVID-19 Infection Survey which represents the single biggest expansion to date of asymptomatic testing for surveillance purposes in the pandemic and is being conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the University of Oxford, on behalf of the UK and Scottish Government.

Published:
17 Sep 2020
ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey: information

Scotland is participating in the COVID-19 Infection Survey which is being conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the University of Oxford, on behalf of the UK and Scottish Government. The first estimates of the proportion of people in Scotland who would have tested positive for COVID-19 were published on 23 October.

The COVID-19 Infection Survey aims to establish:

  • how many people in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland 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 cases 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 survey also provides important information about the socio-demographic characteristics of the people and households who have contracted COVID-19.

Recruitment into the survey in Scotland commenced in September 2020, with survey teams starting to visit participant households from 21 September. Only private households in the UK are included in the study. People living in care homes, other communal establishments and hospitals are not included. 

Headline results for the survey are published weekly, and are available on the Scottish Government website as well as on the ONS website, where they are published alongside results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Articles including antibody and vaccination estimates and articles examining the characteristics of those testing positive for COVID-19 are also available on the Scottish Government website as well as on the ONS website.

You can read more information on the survey methodology on the ONS website, which can be read alongside:

  • the COVID-19 bulletin, which gives weekly headline statistics
  • the study protocol, which outlines the study design and rationale
  • the study guide, which explains to participants what taking part in the study entails - translations of the study guide are also provided
First published: 17 Sep 2020 Last updated: 9 Apr 2021 -