Last updated 24 March 2021.
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Note: This blog will not be updated during the Scottish Parliament’s pre-election campaign period (25 March to 4 May 2021). The blog will be updated again in the week of 10 May.
This post looks at the latest data from the Scottish Government on Coronavirus (COVID-19). It covers data on the number of positive tests for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and on deaths. It will be updated on a regular basis and we will continue to review the data and look at whether additional analysis would be useful. Unless otherwise stated all data is drawn from daily Scottish Government news releases.
Testing capacity in Scotland has been increased so that now anyone aged 5 or over, who is self-isolating because they are showing symptoms can be tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Priority for testing appointments is given to key workers and their households.Additional testing is also taking place of staff and residents in care homes, where there have been cases of Coronavirus (COVID 19), and of all patients over 70 who are admitted to hospital. However, it is likely that some cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will continue to go untested.
The following charts look at the number of people newly tested for COVID-19 across Scotland to date, with a breakdown of negative and positive results, where the test has been processed through NHS Scotland labs.
- From 15 June, the number of people tested includes confirmed cases at UK Government Regional Testing Centres (RTCs).
- Data for new cases on 14 September 2020 may not reflect the total number of new cases or new tests due to late provision of test data.
- Figures on 30 November have been affected by a data processing issue. This means the figures for that day are lower than expected, and figures for 1 December slightly higher.
Number of people tested and positive results in Scotland
Number of new people who have tested positive per day
The seven day averages used in this blog are averages of the seven days up to and including the latest available data.
Number of new people tested per day.
Proportion of tests which are positive
This chart looks at how the proportion of positive tests has changed over time. Since the start of the pandemic testing capacity in Scotland has increased, and plans to increase it further were recently announced. The Scottish Government recently published Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s Testing Strategy – Adapting to The Pandemic which sets out the role testing plays in tackling coronavirus (COVID-19).
The WHO have indicated that one way of showing if a epidemic is under control is if less than 5% of samples return a positive result for Covid-19 over two weeks.
Please note that:
- Until 14 June the figures only include tests carried out through NHS labs.
- As of 15 June, the figures include people tested through the UK Government (UKG) testing programme (Regional Testing Centres, Mobile Testing Units and home testing kits).
- As of 8 July, the figures include the numbers of home tests and other tests through the social care portal that were not previously available from the UK Government (UKG) testing programme.
The following two charts look at the total number of COVID-19 tests processed through NHS Scotland labs and by Regional Testing Centres (RTC) in Scotland as part of the expanded UK Government testing programme.
As of 8 July, the numbers of home tests and other tests through the social care portal that were not previously available are included in the UK Government (UKG) testing programme figures. The increase in the cumulative figures in on 8 July is due to the addition of the backlog of care home portal tests and home tests to the database. It is not possible to incorporate these in the previous daily figures.
Total number of COVID-19 Tests carried out in Scotland
Daily number of COVID-19 Tests carried out in Scotland
The data presented in this chart comes from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey from the Office for National Statistics, which looks to identify the percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 and whether they have symptoms or not. The survey helps track the current extent of infection and transmission of COVID-19 among the population as a whole.
Please note that due to the sample size there the quoted number is the central estimate of the infection rate and is subject to variability. For example, the figure for Scotland for the 14 day period ending 13 March lies between 0.33% and 0.47%. The Scottish data lags the rest of the UK by two days.
ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: Estimated percentage of the whole population testing positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by nation of the UK
Data on tests by NHS Health Board
A breakdown which includes confirmed cases at UK Government Regional Testing Centres by Health Board became available on the 18 June.
Number of positive tests by NHS Health Boards
These charts show the number of people who have died with Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Scottish deaths data has been revised to include all registered deaths where Coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate. The figures had previously only covered deaths where infection with the virus had been confirmed by a laboratory.
From 8 April, the figures include registered deaths where infection was confirmed by a laboratory, as well as those where infection has been presumed from a clinical diagnosis i.e. by an assessment of the person’s signs and symptoms. This allows for the inclusion of deaths in the community. More information on how the death statistics are recorded can be found in Coronavirus (COVID-19): How are deaths counted?
The graph below provides a comparison of the laboratory confirmed deaths from Health Protection Scotland with data from National Records of Scotland (NRS) where Coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate. As a result, the number of deaths involving Coronavirus (COVID-19) is higher than previous estimates.
Latest data from Health Protection Scotland (HPS)
The NRS data lags behind the HPS data due to the length of time it can take for deaths to be formally registered. 3 March including the an 172 deaths identified by PHS.
Latest data from National Record of Scotland (NRS)
Latest update: 24 March
The new data is also broken down by age and sex, as well as by health board area. The data comes from the National Records of Scotland publication Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland. The health board data has been used to calculate the death rate per 10,000 in each area.
Other institutions include clinics, medical centres, prisons and schools. There have currently been 32 deaths recorded in other institutions.
Deaths compared to 5 year average
Deaths at a local level
The National Records of Scotland have published data on deaths at a local level. We have produced an interactive map which allows you to explore this data.
Deaths by ethnicity
When a death is registered in Scotland, information about the ethnicity of the deceased person is collected, on a voluntary basis. The National Record of Scotland have produced a new dataset on ethnicity by linking records from the 2011 Census and death registration records.
The following chart shows death by ethnicity. A more detailed breakdown can be found on the National Record of Scotland website. The 2011 Census showed that the Scottish population was 4% minority ethnic. This data show that the number of minority ethnic deaths in Scotland relating to COVID-19 is between 1.4% and 2.7%.
Deaths by COVID-19 involvement and ethnicity, Scotland, occurring on or after 12 March and registered by 14 June 2020
The following chart shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU, which included people (in larger NHS Boards) who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but are now in hospital for another reason, or had hospital onset COVID-19 and remain in hospital. This new measure started from 11 September 2020.
The following graphs show a timeline for the number of patients admitted to hospital with confirmed or suspected Coronavirus (COVID-19), including those in Intensive Care Units (ICU). The Scottish Government has identified 3,000 inpatient beds to care for Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients and it is aiming for a total of 700+ ICU beds. There will also be the potential for an additional 1,000 beds at the Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow.
From 22/07/2020, figures for suspected Covid-19 patients in hospital and suspected Covid-19 patients in ICU are longer published. These numbers were affected and became increasingly volatile after the implementation of increased patient screening.
The follows graphs look at Coronavirus (COVID-19) related absences of NHS staff. They look at both the numbers and the proportion of the absences for each staff group. There was no data published for the week ending 29 December 2020.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Vaccinations in Scotland – latest data
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Which neighbourhoods have the most cases?
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Protection levels
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): deaths at a local level in Scotland
Andrew Aiton, Data Visualisation Manager