22nd November 2020 data update

Each week, SCCR admin James Beecher summarises local Covid-19 data on positive test results, hospital beds, and people who have died. Some national and international data is included for context

Key points (see below for full sourcing and more detail):

  • Sadly, for the first time since week 24 (ending 12th June), I am reporting that people from Stroud district have died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificates. Three people died with their deaths registered in this way in week 45 (ending 6th November), all in care homes. A total of 95 people from Stroud district have now died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate. These 95 people represent 7.7% of the 1,241 people to have died from Stroud district this year.
  • Concerningly, the most recent data shows the number of people with Covid-19 in Gloucestershire hospital beds continues to rise – 151 people (17th November), nearly double the 84 the week previously (10th November – double would be 168), which was slightly more than double the 40 the week before (3rd Nov).
  • There have been 167 positive test results associated with someone living in Stroud district providing a specimen in the week up to the 20th November. A chart below shows the significant rise there has been in Stroud district recently (from 52 positive test results in the week to 9th October, and 9 in the week to 18th September). However, while not all test results will have been processed so the most recent week cannot be treated as a definite trend downward, the last two weeks saw a fall from 210 positive results to the 6th November, falling to 188 to the 13th November. It’s possible more tests results will come in, but only two have been added to the total for the week to 13th November since last week’s report.
  • In the most recent week there have been 910 positive test results returned so far in Gloucestershire. This figure will rise as new results are reported. For the previous week, the number rose from 945 to 1,001 and may still rise as results are processed (see chart below). Unlike in Stroud district, we don’t yet have evidence of a decline across Gloucestershire as a whole
  • Across the month of November, there have already been more positive test results across Gloucestershire (2,680) than there were in October (2,008). However, the rate of increase appears to be much lower than October compared to September (404 positive test results)
  • A total of 596 people from Gloucestershire have died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate, as of data to week 45 (6th November). 5 people have been added to this total in the most recent week. Two were from the Forest of Dean and died in hospital, three were from Stroud district. The 596 people to have died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificates represent 9% of the 6,586 people to have died from Gloucestershire this year.

National

  • Across the UK, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals at midnight 16th November was 16,324. A rise of 1,974 (15.2%) since midnight on the 9th November (14,260). For comparison, on the 27th March – the earliest data for comparable data, there were 7,043 patients, and at the peak on 12th April 19,849 patients in hospital – in other words, hospitals have 82% as many COVID-19 patients in them as at the previous peak (compared to 72% last week).
  • Across the UK, the number of people who tested positive in the 7 days to the 17th November was 158,742, which compares to 167,740 in the week to the 10th November. As you can see, the number is lower – even though it is still high. For further comparison – in the week to the 17th October, 121,015 people tested positive, in the week to 17th September, 24,061.

Regarding the number of people who have died, ONS data – based on what is recorded by clinicians on death certificates – shows:

  • “In Week 45, the number of deaths registered was 14.3% above the five-year average (1,481 deaths higher).”
  • “Of the deaths registered in Week 45, 1,937 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, accounting for 16.4% of all deaths in England and Wales; this is an increase of 558 deaths compared with Week 44 (when there were 1,379 deaths involving COVID-19, accounting for 12.7% of all deaths).”
  • Of the 1,937 deaths that involved COVID-19, 1,743 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (90.0%); of the 2,267 deaths that involved Influenza and Pneumonia, 307 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (13.5%).” [“the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death”.] 
  • “Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 6 November 2020 was 517,650, which is 58,555 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 6 November 2020, 58,645 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; this is 11.3% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • You can get a summary of the latest data at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/. There you can also enter your postcode or filter data on a particular topic (positive tests, deaths, people in hospital) by local areas – though not always for the Stroud district (data is sometimes only available for Gloucestershire or the South West as a whole).

Charts and informaiton for the local area

Source: gov.uk data download
Source: gov.uk data download

Comparisons with March and April are included in the chart below in a different colour – as all of those cases were hospitalised, while since May testing has been for “anyone with symptoms” (and people’s contacts) – in an effort to control the spread of the virus and limit hospitalisations and deaths (see below for data on hospitalisations and deaths). We know even the current testing system does not catch everyone with the virus, but the numbers for March and April are certainly a huge underestimate as – unlike now – they did not include people with mild symptoms.

Source: gov.uk data download
Source: NHS Covid-19 Hospital Activity

Across the South West the number of beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients has reached over 900 (approximately doubling in three weeks since the 1st November), but appears to be stabilising at this point. We can hope that this represents a peak, and send our wishes that these people are safely discharged. (There were 21 such patients on the 1st August, 15 on the 1st September, 36 on the 1st October, and 461 on the 1st November.)

There is a new version of the government’s interactive map which shows weekly cases at a more localised scale than districts (an alternative map shows this as dots)

In the most recent week of data, this shows, in Richard Bedford’s summary:

“Good news! There is clear evidence that the wave is flatting out in our area.
Not quite such good news. There is no evidence as yet of the wave being reversed.
I.e. We are seeing steady number of cases coming through but at least the rate is no longer increasing.
This implies, if it can be maintained, that the wave will start to fall back soon because for the wave to level off, the R number must have fallen which in turn eventually will push the wave back down. 
So, we need to keep up the good work that everyone is doing…
Further afield:
South Gloucestershire: Infections to the South remain far more numerous than up in Stroud. No significant improvement there as yet I would say.
Swindon: Case rate appears to be falling back a little in Swindon.”

The below chart is from data compiled by Richard Bedford for the different parts of Stroud district. The short story is that positive test results are coming in from all parts of the district, falling in most – but rising in Ebley & Randwick, Upton St Leonards & Hardwicke, Rodborough & Thrupp, and Frampton, Whitminster & Eastington (bear in mind these are positive test results. There could be more people with the virus who have not gone to get tests).

Positive test results by MSOA (parts of Stroud district) for week 46 (ending 13th November) are as follows

  • 25 – Ebley & Randwick (up from 14 last week)
  • 21 – Upton St Leonards & Hardwicke (up from 19)
  • 21 – Dursley (down from 35)
  • 15 – Rodborough & Thrupp (up from 5)
  • 15 – Michinchimhamptom & Amberley (down from 16)
  • 14 – Frampton, Whitminster & Eastington (up from 11)
  • 14 – Cam (up from 13)
  • 13 – Berkeley & Sharpness (up from 7)
  • 13 – Stroud Town (down from 15)
  • 9 – Nailsworth (down from 19)
  • 9 – Leonard Stanley & Uley (down from 14)
  • 9 – Chalford & Bussage (down from 13)
  • 6 – Painswick, Bisley & Eastcombe (down from 8)
  • 6 – Stonehouse (down from 8)
  • 4 – Wotton-under-Edge & Kingswood (down from 16)

The highest number of people testing positive per MSOA in Gloucestershire in the past week was once again Barton in Gloucester, with 39 positive test results in the week – the chart below from the government’s interactive map shows a number of areas in and near Stroud district with high numbers of positive test results per 100,000 people over the past 7 days.

More national information and charts

The below chart shows that the daily number of new Covid-19 deaths appears to be stabilising in the UK at a seven day average of around 400 people dying each day. This is roughly a little less than half as many people were dying each day as during the first peak (at worst, around 900 deaths per day). Hopefully this represents a peak and the number of deaths will start to fall. The chart is interactive, so you can change how it displays and add countries for comparisons.

Ths is a chart showing the proportion of tests in the UK that are positive. The chart shows how:

  • At the lowest point – at the end of July – just 0.4% of people tested were testing positive, but the proportion testing positive is now 8.1% (of people tested on November 18th, one in roughly every 12 people tested, tested positive. The changes in the proportion of tests that are positive make clear that ‘false positives’ are not driving the changes in numbers of positive tests (as we’d expect the proportion of false positives to remain roughly the same).

While data on the numbers of tests or share of tests that are positive isn’t available for Stroud or Gloucestershire specifically (at least so far), a chart below shows the same thing but for the South West.

* The proportion of “Pillar 2” tests (conducted for people in the community) that returned positive results across the South West was 7.7% in the most recent week (to 19th November) – rising from a low of 0.3% in mid-July, and from 7.4% in the previous week (though the rise appears to be slowing).

* The proportion of “Pillar 1” tests (conducted for people in hospital) that returned positive results across the South West was 4.9% in the most recent week (to 12th November) – rising from a low of 0.1% in August, and from 4.1% the previous week.

Source: PHE spreadsheet as part of weekly Covid-19 and flu surveillance

Each week, the ONS does a testing survey. This goes out like other survey work it isn’t based on symptoms or people seeking a test. This week (6th November they say:

  • “There are substantial differences in positivity rates by region leading to a national positivity rate in England, which is similar to last week; during the most recent week (8 November to 14 November 2020), we estimate 664,700 people (95% credible interval: 628,300 to 701,200) within the community population in England had the coronavirus (COVID-19), equating to around 1 in 80 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 85 to 1 in 80). (up, but only just, from last week: “during the most recent week (31 October to 6 November 2020), we estimate 654,000 people (95% credible interval: 619,400 to 689,800) within the community population in England had the coronavirus (COVID-19), equating to around 1 in 85 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 90 to 1 in 80).”)
  • “The highest positivity rates are seen among secondary school-aged children and older teenagers and young adults, although trends vary between these groups; rates continue to increase in primary school-aged children and positivity rates appear to be levelling off in people aged 25 years and over.”
  • “During the most recent week (8 November to 14 November 2020), we estimate there were 7.14 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people per day (95% credible interval: 6.29 to 8.09) in the community population in England, equating to around 38,900 new cases per day (95% credible interval: 34,300 to 44,100); the incidence rate appears to have levelled off in recent weeks.”
  • Read more about the ONS methdology.

Global

I no longer have time to do much in the way of global updates. Please do visit the OurWorldInData website for more comparisons and trends.

The chart below compares cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people for selected countries. As of November 22nd, there have been 1,078 Covid-19 deaths per million people in Peru, 912 per million in Spain, 805 in the UK, 634 in Sweden, 167 in Germany, and less than 1 per million in Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

From OurWorldInData’s page on “Excess Mortality”: “The chart here shows excess mortality during the pandemic for all ages using the P-score.9 You can see that some countries – such as [the United States,] England & Wales10 and Spain – suffered high levels of excess mortality… [though] others – such as Germany … experienced much more modest increases in mortality.”
(“It is important to note that because the P-scores in this chart combine all ages, they are impacted by differences in mortality risk by age and countries’ age distributions. For example, countries with older populations – which have a higher mortality risk, including from COVID-19 – will tend to have higher all-age P-scores by default. When comparing countries it is informative to look at the P-scores for different age groups.”)

The core advice remains: please book a test if you have one or more symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste (or if you are asked to by contact tracers or others conducting tests). There is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and mobile units tour Gloucestershire. If you have symptoms (or if you are asked to by contact tracers), self-isolate until you have a negative test. If you are struggling with self-isolating, please get in touch with us or with one of the local support groups. You may be able to receive financial support to self-isolate from Stroud District Council.

Whether or not you have symptoms, please still follow the guidelines to wear masks when appropriate (they will help prevent spread of the virus if you have it but don’t have symptoms yet, or are asymptomatic – meaning you have the virus but without ever getting any symptoms), keep distance from people, and wash your hands regularly. Access the latest government guidance on “the new national restrictions” online (last updated 20th November). If there is a piece of guidance you have a question about, again – please ask in our Facebook group.

Notes

These updates are designed to improve understanding of the pandemic and its impacts, with the hope this can help us to reduce those impacts locally. I appreciate they do not involve space to properly convey the full impact of the virus nor the restrictions that are making life difficult for many people.

Your suggestions for inclusion of data in these summaries are welcome. Please submit posts to our Facebook group.

Please remember we have a list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website (and welcome further recommendations). The following numbers may be useful:

  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
  • Mind: 0300 123 3393
  • Age UK: 0800 169 6565
  • Childline: 0800 1111.