The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England remained at around 1 in 50 people in the week ending Oct 30, a school half-term break, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Friday, steadying at its highest level of the year.
The ONS said that prevalence was unchanged from the previous week, after five straight weeks of rising infections.
The ONS said that the trend was “uncertain” in the latest week, after infections had been on the rise leading up to the half term break, which for most schools started on Oct 25.
Infection rates decreased for older, senior school children over the week, the ONS said, dipping to 7.5 percent from 9.1 percent the previous week.
However, prevalence remained the highest in those children, and the ONS said that it was too early to determine the impact of the half-term holiday on infections in school children.
“Rates have decreased for school Year 7 to school Year 11 in the most recent week, however rates remain high,” the ONS said, referring to secondary school children, mostly teenagers.
“The trend was uncertain for all other age groups in the most recent week.”
The region with the highest prevalence was the South West, with 2.9 percent estimated to be infected, echoing the findings of an Imperial College London survey released on Thursday.
The region was impacted by an error at a private lab that resulted in an estimated 43,000 people wrongly being given negative PCR test results.