Guidance: NHS test and trace statistics (England): methodology

Department Of Health

July 9
10:00 2020


DHSC publishes weekly statistics on coronavirus (COVID-19) contact tracing dating from when the NHS Test and Trace service started on 28 May 2020. These statistics cover:

  • number of people tested for coronavirus in England
  • number of people who tested positive for coronavirus in England
  • time taken for test results to become available
  • number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England that were then transferred to the contact tracing system, and the time taken for them to be reached
  • number of recent close contacts identified, and the time taken for them to be reached

This document sets out information on the data sources and methodology are used to generate each of these measures. It will keep being updated with further detail.

Published 18 June 2020
Last updated 9 July 2020 +show all updates
  1. The methodology document has been updated to reflect the changes in the methodology for calculating the time taken to receive a COVID-19 test result from time of test for home testing kits. More details about pillar 1 test turnaround times and the reasoning behind the percentage of people testing positive being removed from the publication has also been added.

  2. Updates have been made throughout the methodology document, including new sections added: 'People tested compared to tests' and 'Time taken to receive a COVID-19 test result'.

  3. Added new 2 new sections on testing, and new sections on 'Number of people providing details of one or more recent close contacts' and 'Notes on interpreting against other statistics'.

  4. First published.

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