- Over 85,000 volunteers tested in England in latest significant study into COVID-19 by Imperial College London and Ipsos
- Interim findings show infections continued to rise across all regions between 16 and 25 October, with 128 people per 10,000 infected
- Figures reinforce the need for everyone to follow their Local COVID Alert Level rules and remember Hands, Face, Space
Over 85,000 volunteers were tested in England between 16th and 25th October as part of a new REACT study, to examine the levels of infection in the general population. The findings show infections continue to rise across all age groups and all regions in England, with the biggest increase in those aged 55-64. The highest number of infections remain in the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber, where overall prevalence has more than doubled.
The main findings from the sixth REACT study show that between 16th and 25th October:
- 128 people per 10,000 were infected in England, up from 60 per 10,000;
- The virus was doubling every 9 days;
- The national R rate increased to 1.6;
- Prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7% up from 0.84%) and the North West (2.3% up from 1.2%) meaning over 1 in 40 people were infected in Yorkshire and The Humber region as of Sunday 25 October; and
- The percentage of people infected aged 55-64 increased more than threefold from 0.37% to 1.2%, but infections remain highest in those aged 18-24 (2.2%).
Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, said:
These interim findings paint a concerning picture of the situation in England, where we’re seeing a nation-wide increase in infection prevalence, which we know will lead to more hospitalisations and loss of life.
We’re also detecting early signs that areas which previously had low rates of infection are following trends observed in the country’s worst-affected areas.
Now more than ever we must all work together to curb further spread of the virus and avoid subsequent overwhelming of the health service.
This report is the latest from the REACT study which was commissioned by DHSC and carried out by a world-class team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Ipsos.
As infection levels continue to rise across England, it is critical everyone plays their part to help stop the spread of the virus so together we can protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future.
Everyone must follow the Local COVID Alert Level rules where they live, including those on household mixing. It is vital to remember Hands, Face, Space, and if you develop symptoms you must self-isolate, along with your household, and get a free test.
Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others. Our strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available. Local action is at the centre of our response, and engagement with Local Authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.
Kelly Beaver, Managing Director- Public Affairs at Ipsos said:
The continuing support of the public by taking part in the study is something we remain immensely grateful for. The number of participants gives this study the robustness and thoroughness which marks it out as world leading. Ipsos would like to thank everyone who’s volunteered so far and those who will volunteer for further rounds of this study.