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

Department Of Health

May 24
16:44 2020

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Number of cases and deaths

As of 9am on 24 May, there have been 3,458,905 tests, with 110,401 tests on 23 May.

259,559 people have tested positive.

As of 5pm on 23 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 36,793 have died. This new figure includes deaths in all settings, not just in hospitals. The equivalent figure under the old measure would have been 29,754.

Number of tests Number of people tested Number of positive cases Deaths in hospitals Deaths in all settings
Daily 110,401 Unavailable 2,409 171 118
Total 3,458,905 Unavailable 259,559 29,754 36,793

Breakdown of testing by 3 of the testing strategy pillars


Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
Number of people tested 20,301 Unavailable - Unavailable
Number of tests 32,230 74,838 3,333 110,401
Number of positive cases 809 1,600 - 2,409


Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
Number of people tested 1,061,878 Unavailable - Unavailable
Number of tests 1,447,834 1,777,365 233,706 3,458,905
Number of positive cases 182,288 77,271 - 259,559

Pillar 2 breakdown of test types

In-person routes (tests processed) Delivery routes (tests sent out) Total tests
Daily 34,740 40,098 74,838
Cumulative 934,792 842,573 1,777,365
  • 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: 24 May 2020 (CSV, 3.29KB)

24 May notes

Due to technical difficulties with pillar 2 data collection we cannot provide people tested figures today.

There may be a small percentage of cases (around 2%) where the same person has had more than 1 positive test result for coronavirus. The government will correct any figures if they have subsequently been found to have an error.

The daily total for tests is 3 higher than the difference between today and yesterdays cumulative totals. This is due to a revision of historical data for pillar 1.

The daily total for cases is 4 higher than the difference between today and yesterdays cumulative totals. This is due to a revision of historical data for pillar 2.

The daily count under the new deaths measure (deaths in all settings) is 53 lower than the old measure (deaths in hospital). This is because some hospital deaths in the hospital-only data will include individuals who have already been included in the composite all settings count. Individual deaths that have already been reported in the all settings figures on previous days are not counted again.

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 th

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