England’s Covid outbreak grew by 9% last week with one in 70 people – or 757,000 – infected on any given day, official data shows… as interactive map reveals where biggest hotspots were
- People testing positive for Covid in England jumped by nine per cent in the week ending August 20
- Some 756,900 had the virus on any given day last week, compared to 698,100 one week earlier
- The figure equates to one in 70 people in England being infected with the coronavirus, or 1.4 per cent
- Positivity rates were highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, London and the East Midlands
- And 3.5 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds had the virus, while 2.5 per cent of those aged 11 to 15 were infected
- It comes as schools in England and Wales are set to return next week and thousands attend music festivals
The coronavirus pandemic continued to grow in England last week, with one in 70 people testing positive for the virus, official figures show.
Some 756,900 people had Covid on any given day in the week leading up to August 20, a jump of nine per cent compared to the 698,100 figure seven days earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Across England, 1.39 per cent of people had Covid, but as many as 1.8 per cent of people tested positive in the worst-hit parts of the country.
Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, London and the East Midlands all had infection rates higher than the national average.
And up to 3.5 per cent of school-aged children had the virus, amid fears that cases will surge as children head back to the classroom in England and Wales next week.
Covid cases in Scotland more than doubled last week after lessons resumed, leading First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to warn there would be another lockdown if hospital admissions followed the same trend.
Experts warned MailOnline that the countries south of the border should expect to see a similar spike.
The proportion of people testing positive for Covid remained the same and continued to be highest in Yorkshire and the Humber (1.8 per cent) and the North West (1.6 per cent).
In London, 1.5 per cent of people were infected in the most recent week, compared to 1.4 per cent one week earlier.
Cases were also on the rise in the East Midlands (1.4 per cent), the South East (1.3 per cent) and West Midlands (to 1.3 per cent).
Meanwhile, infection levels stayed static in the North East (1.3 per cent) and dropped in the East of England (1.2 per cent) and the South West (0.9 per cent).
And 3.5 per cent of 16 to 24-year-old tested positive, the highest out of any age group, with cases shooting up from 2.9 per cent one week earlier.
The figure equates to one in 30 people in the age group testing positive.
And cases also increased among 11 to 15-year-olds, with 2.5 per cent testing positive, compared to 2.3 per cent in the previous seven days.
Cases fell among those aged 25 to 34, as well as in children aged two to 10, but increased in all age groups over 35.
It comes as the UK is set to have its biggest weekend of live music in two years, with more than 100,000 people attending Reading and Leeds music festivals and some 40,000 going to All Points East in London.
Susan Hopkins, PHE strategy response director and Test and Trace Chief Medical Advisor said: ‘Festivals are a great opportunity for people to come together after what has been an incredibly difficult year and we want everyone to enjoy themselves.
‘However, it’s important to know that at least 1 in 50 young people currently have Covid.
‘Therefore, do a test before you go, wear a face covering if you’re travelling to and from the festival if you’re using public transport and socialise outside as much as possible.
‘If you test positive or have any symptoms then do not attend.’
She added: ‘It’s especially important to be cautious when you leave the festival and when you get home as you may well have caught Covid while you’ve been away.
‘Make sure you take an LFD test when you get home and then test twice a week after having mixed with a large group of people, as you could have Covid without having symptoms.
‘Try and avoid seeing older or more vulnerable relatives so that you don’t pass anything on.’
Meanwhile, Covid infections increased across the rest of the UK.
In Scotland, 36,700 people tested positive for the virus on any given day in the week ending August 20, equating to 0.7 per cent of people, or one case per 140 people.
Seven days earlier, on the week ending August 14, just 25,900 were infected, equating to one in 200 people.
But the ONS warned the trend for Scotland is less certain than England, because the sample size of participants is smaller.
It follows schools reopening across Scotland for the autumn term last week. In England and Wales, schools broke up later, so do not return until next week.
The rising figures caused Ms Sturgeon to warn that Scots could be dragged back into tougher coronavirus restrictions amid the biggest surge in cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The First Minister earlier this week raised the prospect of reintroducing some curbs despite the successful vaccine rollout.
She also said that existing regulations, including mandatory face masks and limits on capacities at major events, are likely to be extended again next week.
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