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Coronavirus: statistics

This blog explains how and when data are published regarding COVID-19 cases and deaths in Wales. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines COVID-19 as the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. We’ve included summary charts which will be updated twice a week and may be revised as the data published by Public Health Wales (PHW) change. Data for the most recent two or three days have been omitted as they are likely to change substantially as more cases, tests and deaths are reported.

Estimated reading time: 4 Minutes

Updated: 06 July 2020

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

This blog post explains how and when data are published regarding COVID-19 cases and deaths in Wales.  The World Health Organization (WHO) defines COVID-19 as the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. We’ve included summary charts which will be updated twice a week and may be revised as the data published by Public Health Wales (PHW) change. Data for the most recent two or three days have been omitted as they are likely to change substantially as more cases, tests and deaths are reported.

COVID-19 statistics are published by PHW every day on its dashboard. PHW publishes data on the number of testing episodes, confirmed cases and deaths. It cautions that all the data published on its dashboard are provisional and will be subject to daily revision.

Testing episodes and confirmed cases

PHW explains that individuals may be tested more than once for COVID-19. In its testing data PHW uses 6 week periods where if an individual is tested more than once within a 6 week period they are only counted once. If any test results are positive then this result is published as a confirmed case. Testing data are published by local authority of residence and are also broken down by sex and age for Wales. The testing episodes include confirmed cases in hospitals and elsewhere. Read our blog post on coronavirus: testing to find out more.

Cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population

Cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Local Health Board (LHB)

New testing episodes in Wales

As the coronavirus is an infectious disease typically spread through close personal contact, it can be expected to spread more quickly in areas of higher population density. This trend is reflected in the figure below which shows the correlation between the cumulative incidence per 100,000 people and the population density for each Local Authority in Wales. A linear fit (dashed line) and one standard deviation either side of the fit (dotted lines) are shown.

Cumulative incidence per 100,000 population by population density

Deviation from the linear fit shows how different the COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 people is compared to what could be expected based on population density alone. For example, Denbighshire has a low population density and its COVID-19 incidence is higher than expected based simply on population density. These variations could be due to a variety of social and geographic factors such as differences in the provision of testing, social distancing, containment in hospitals and care homes and the proportion of people in high-risk categories.

The linear fit excludes Cardiff which is an outlier in the data. Cardiff can be seen in the inset graph which shows the same data on a broader scale. In Cardiff, the higher population density does not equate to a higher number of cases per 100,000.

Deaths by date and LHB

PHW publishes the number of deaths suspected to be caused by COVID-19 in people who have tested positive, these are shown by date of death.

Daily deaths in Wales

PHW states:

These figures only include deaths occurring in individuals who were laboratory confirmed with COVID-19. The majority of deaths reported here occurred in hospital settings, however a proportion occurred in care home settings. The figures do not include individuals who may have died from COVID-19 but who were not confirmed by laboratory testing. The true number of COVID-19 deaths will be higher.

The majority of care home deaths will not be counted in the PHW data and PHW states that its statistics will differ from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales.

PHW also publishes deaths by Local Health Board (LHB) of residence and figures for some LHBs are supressed if the number of deaths is 5 or lower to prevent individual deaths from being identified.

Other sources of data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales in a weekly publication – Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional. This publication uses data made available after the death registration process and is therefore lagged by over a week.

ONS also publishes Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation: deaths occurring between 1 March and 31 May 2020 which includes an interactive map showing deaths at a local level.

The Welsh Government publishes weekly statistics on NHS activity and capacity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This publication includes data on cases, deaths, hospitalisations, new admissions to hospital and critical care bed use in Wales.

Public Health England publishes its data in a dashboard and the Scottish Government publishes daily statistics on the its website with National Records Scotland publishing a weekly update. The Department of Health in Northern Ireland publishes daily statistics on its website.


Article by Joe Wilkes and Helen Jones, Senedd Research, National Assembly for Wales

We’ve published a range of material on the coronavirus pandemic, including a post setting out the help and guidance available for people in Wales and a timeline of Welsh and UK governments’ response.

You can see all our coronavirus-related publications by clicking here. All are updated regularly.

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