GovWire

Detailed guide: Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK

Department Of Health

May 23
15:57 2020

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Number of cases and deaths

As of 9am 23 May, there have been 3,348,507 tests, with 116,585 tests on 22 May.

257,154 people have tested positive.

As of 5pm on 22 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 36,675 have sadly died. This new figure includes deaths in all settings not just in hospitals. The equivalent figure under the old measure would have been 29,583.

Number of tests Number of people tested Number of positive cases Deaths in hospitals Deaths in all settings
Daily 116,585 Unavailable 2,959 190 282
Total 3,348,507 Unavailable 257,154 29,583 36,675

Breakdown of testing by 3 of the testing strategy pillars

Daily

Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
Number of people tested Unavailable Unavailable - Unavailable
Number of tests 35,915 71,657 9,013 116,585
Number of positive cases 1,277 1,682 - 2,959

Cumulative

Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
Number of people tested Unavailable Unavailable - Unavailable
Number of tests 1,415,607 1,702,527 230,373 3,348,507
Number of positive cases 181,479 75,675 - 257,154

Pillar 2 breakdown of test types

In-person routes (tests processed) Delivery routes (tests sent out) Total tests
Daily 31,434 40,223 71,657
Cumulative 900,052 802,475 1,702,527
  • Pillar 1: swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers
  • Pillar 2: swab testing for essential workers and their households, as well as other groups that meet the eligibility criteria as set out in government guidance
  • Pillar 4: serology and swab testing for national surveillance supported by PHE, ONS, Biobank, universities and other partners to learn more about the prevalence and spread of the virus and for other testing research purposes, for example on the accuracy and ease of use of home testing

See the governments national testing strategy for more information on the different pillars and Notes on testing section below.

See a time series of daily deaths: 23 May 2020 (CSV, 3.25KB)

23 May notes

Due to technical difficulties with data collection we cannot provide people tested figures today.

The daily total for tests is 1 lower than the difference between todays and yesterdays cumulative totals. This is due to historical data revision of Pillar 1.

General notes

Data on UK tests, positive cases and deaths is updated on this page daily at 2pm or shortly after. The figures for test results and for deaths are compiled from different sources. This is why the figures for deaths are reported from an earlier point in time than the figures for test results.

Daily totals reflect actual counts reported for the previous day. Each day there may be corrections to previous reported figures. This means that previously published daily counts will not necessarily sum to the latest cumulative figure. It also means that todays cumulative count may not match the previous days cumulative count plus todays daily count.

Notes on testing figures

Tests in the UK are carried out via a number of different routes. Tests are measured and reported in different ways depending on the route and how theyre administered.

The tests that are within the control of the central programme are counted when theyre processed in our laboratories. For any tests that go outside the control of the central programme, theyre counted when they leave the programme, for example the tests that are mailed out to people at home and the tests that are sent out via satellite sites.

The length of time it takes tests to be concluded varies depending on the testing route and the different processes involved. This means tests carried out on a particular day will not always be measured and reported at the same time.

The daily figures on the number of tests include:

Tests processed through our laboratories

These are counted at the time of processing in the laboratory and not when they are issued to people. Tests are never double-counted. This includes:

  • all tests under pillar 1
  • in-person testing routes under pillar 2, for example tests carried out at the mobile testing units and the drive-through regional testing sites
  • in-person testing routes under pillar 4, for example tests carried out as part of surveillance testing where they are administered by nurses employed by the central programme

Tests sent to individual at home or to satellite testing locations

These are counted when tests are dispatched and not at the time of processing in the laboratory. Tests are never double-counted. This includes:

  • delivery testing routes under pillar 2, for example tests carried out by the satellite testing centres, and home testing kits delivered by post
  • delivery testing routes under pillar 4, for example tests carried out as part of surveillance testing where they are administered by individuals, rather than nurses employed by the central programme.

For clinical reasons, some people are tested more than once. Therefore the number of tests completed may be higher than the number of people tested. For serology testing (pillar 4), some protocols allow for samples to be tested repeatedly. Samples are anonymised prior to sending to the lab for testing, therefore the identification of individ

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