UK back to 200,000 a day

February 3, 2022

This article has not been updated recently

According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, in total there are currently 195,069 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on PCR and LFT test data from up to three days ago [*]. An increase of 22% from 159,486 reported last week (Graph 1). 

In the vaccinated population (at least two doses), there are currently 71,477 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK. An increase of 30% from 54,992 new daily cases reported last week (Graph 2).

The UK R value is estimated to be around 1.1 and regional R values are; England, 1.1, Wales, 1.1, Scotland, 1.1. (Table 1). 

In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 28 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. In the regions, England, 1 in 27. Wales, 1 in 38. Scotland, 1 in 40. (Table 1).

New daily symptomatic cases continue to rise in all regions (Graph 3).

Cases are now rising in all age groups, but the rise is much smaller in the 55+ age groups, particularly in the older, more vulnerable 75+ group, the increase is very small (Graph 4).

According to the data, ZOE estimates that 40% of people experiencing new “cold-like“ symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19, meaning any new ‘cold-like’ symptoms are now more likely to be a cold than COVID. (Graph 5).

According to the ZOE COVID Study, reinfection rates of confirmed cases are estimated to currently be around 7% based on an average of the last two weeks.

The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from around 840,000 weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 47,729 recent swab tests done on symptomatic cases in the two weeks up to 31 January 2022. 

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, comments on the latest data:
“While the bad news is we are again approaching  200,000 new cases a day, it’s encouraging that recorded hospitalisations, ICU cases and deaths are still coming down as Omicron is less severe in a vaccinated population. With a lag of several weeks between infections and hospitalisations, we’ll continue to monitor this rate closely in the coming weeks. We saw a similar rebound and second peak during the Delta wave as people relaxed more and children went back to school. It seems many are, again, preempting the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s much too early for this. High case rates will likely be with us until late spring before the warmer weather and the summer holidays help reduce infections again. 
Over the past few weeks, the UK government's confirmed cases data has begun to move further away from ZOE’s findings. There are a number of reasons for this. The biggest factor is the change in testing behaviour that has happened this year. ZOE Contributors are now logging more positive LFTs in the app, and fewer PCRs. LFTs no longer have to be confirmed by a PCR so are often not being logged with the government, so confirmed case data is missing thousands of LFT results, leading to massive under-reporting. This subtle but important change in behaviour, highlights the importance of having multiple methods to track COVID in the population and shows the power of the citizen scientists that log with ZOE every day. The way ZOE collects and analyses the data means our data is always ahead of the other national surveys that are just beginning to show rises.”

Graph 1. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures total number of daily new cases over time.

Graph 2. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures results over time; total number of new cases and new cases in fully vaccinated

Graph 3. Incidence rate by region

Graph 4. Incidence by age group 

Graph 5. Comparison of new onset of cold-like illness and new onset of COVID with respiratory symptoms

Table 1. Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table 

Map of UK prevalence figures

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