New data suggests supermarkets are the most common exposure settings for those who contract COVID-19 in England.
Public Health England (PHE) collected data using the NHS Test and Trace app.
By analyzing contacts and retrieving the steps of 128,808 people who reported a positive test result between November 9 and November 15, PHE data revealed the most common sites that people had been infected with the virus, before testing positive.
During the growing national restrictions in England, supermarkets remained open to shoppers. New data indicates that it is now the primary setting as those who have tested positive have been reported.
The second most common place reported by those who test positive for COVID-19 has been high schools, followed by elementary schools, then hospitals, and then care homes.
Among those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the days analyzed by PHE, 18.3% said they visited a supermarket.
A total of approximately 9,789 subscribers were reported – the list below counts the percentage of the most frequent sites.
Proportion of all co-sites reported in PHE data:
- Supermarket – 18.3%
- High school – 12.7%
- Elementary school – 10.1%
- Hospital – 3.6%
- Care Home – 2.8%
- College – 2.4%
- Warehouse – 2.2%
- Nursery nursery – 1.8%
- Pub or bar – 1.6%
- Hospitality – 1.5%
- University – 1.4%
- Manufacturing Engineering – 1.4%
- Family under five – 1.2%
- General practice – 1.1%
- Gym – 1.1%
- Restaurant or cafe – 1.0%
In the last week, 124 sets of COVID-19 were recorded in English high schools, with PHE data charts showing that the virus is more prevalent among older age groups.
The total number of outbreaks in secondary schools in England is 822, while primary schools have registered 732 groups since enrollment began.
The data showed that shopping and attending educational places to care for children and eating out were among the first three activities reported by people who tested positive before showing any symptoms.
The PHE data also indicated that the number of contacts by exposure was highest among households and home visitors.
PHE charts also indicate infection rates appear to be flat or even declining in some parts of England, such as the Northwest, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Cases are lower but still rising in places like London, the Southeast and the West Midlands.
While rates of COVID-19 appear to be declining in England for most adult age groups, PHE data indicates that it continues to rise among people over the age of 70.
The highest rate remains among the 20-29 year olds, which stood at 362.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending November 15, down from 389.9 the previous week.
Incidence rates appear to decrease in people 30 to 39 years old, 40 to 49 years old, 50 to 59 years old and 60 to 69 years old, but are slightly higher for people between 70 and 79 years old, from 146.1. To 147.5.
For those aged 80 or over, the rates rose from 235.5 to 245.3, while for people between the ages of 10 and 19, they also increased, from 232.8 to 257.4.
The new data comes as government scientific advisers warn that mixing at Christmas poses “great risks” – especially for the elderly – and there is “too much focus” on spending a regular festive period.
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Professor Andrew Hayward of University College London (UCL) said the country was “on the cusp” of being able to vaccinate an older population and it would be “tragic” to undo the gains made in suppressing the disease.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that families could meet for picnics in the park during the festive season, adding that this year would be “a different birthday but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a happy birthday.”