Corona Virus Disease - Covid-19


Update:4th August 2020: NHS test and trace started operation at 9am on 28th May 2020. The geometric average of weekly growth factors in number of cases over the week to 4th August is 1.22 equivalent to a doubling time of 24 days.

On 2nd July Public Health England changed the basis of reporting - by eliminating double counting of persons counted in both pillars 1 and 2. It also added in the pillar 2 figures into the local totals for the first time - raising Reading's total, for example, from 596 to 767 and made public for the first time an out-of-control situation in Leicester.

In Italy the factor improved to 0.75 when the number of new daily cases fell below 1000, perhaps due to the greater efficacy of contact tracing for the smaller number of cases, leading to a halving time of 17 days.

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The Office of National Statistics has surveyed the prevalence of Covid-19 in the population (excluding healthcare and care settings) using sampling as 1 in 2,000, from 13th to 19th July but it gives the prevalence as 343 per million in Reading as of 24th July. It estimates 2,800 new cases per day (as against 400-800 confirmed by tests) with the prevalence of infection levelling off. The number of those infected over the whole course of the epidemic is estimated at 6.3% of the population. There was no evidence of differences in prevalence by gender or age (although of course outcomes are affected by these factors). 1.92% of people working in patient/resident facing health and social care roles and 0.32% of all others tested positive for Covid-19 from 26th April to 7th June. People working out of home (not in patient/resident facing care roles) had about 3 times the rate of infection of those working from home.

The COVID Symptom Study organised by Prof Tim Spector of King's College, London, with over 4 million participants estimates 1884 new cases of Covid-19 per day as of 24th July (community not including those in care settings) and estimates that 27,654 currently have symptomatic Covid-19 as of 4th August.It estimates the number of active cases in Reading as 176 per million, e.g. about 29 as of 4th August. It gives new infection rate for the South East as 13-45 cases per million each day as of 24th July. It estimates that the number of new cases

has stopped declining

.All readers are invited to join the study by downloading the reporting app "Covid Symptom Study" from their app store.

Public Health England with Cambridge University maintains a now-casting page giving estimates of number and rate of infections and halving times etc. These differ markedly from the survey results of the Office of National Statistics.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital increased its intensive care beds to 34 in March and was then targeting 56. The Government sent out 100,000 live virus tests in a day by 30 April and is hiring 18,000 people to do contact tracing and support isolation (why not use experienced local authority public health staff?). It has finally acknowledged the importance of local contact tracing by asking the chief executive of Leeds City Council to take a leading role in the test, trace, isolate programme. The Reading Walk-In Centre is used as a Covid-19 assessment hub - by appointment only - GPs will refer their Covid-19 patients and the patients registered with the Reading Walk-In Centre will be handled from Milman Road Health Centre using the same telephone number, 0118 902 8300, as for the Broad Street Mall centre. HealthwatchReading have a prescription collection service for those who cannot get their medicines otherwise. Reading Borough Council have services for vulnerable people who have no other resource coordinated through their One Reading Hub which is also the contact point for volunteers - both on 0808 1894325. A drive-in NHS testing site has opened on the Reading University Whiteknights campus near Earley Gate.

The corona virus disease Covid-19 which has rapidly spread across the globe since its detection in Wuhan, China presents a grave threat to the people of Reading. The disease is mild or even asymptomatic for some, but for others appears to proceed through a debilitating fever and cough,and for a certain proportion of cases goes on to a severe and dangerous pneumonia, which makes breathing difficult or inadequate.

Everyone is urged to observe the advice set out by the NHS to the letter.

All should practice hand hygiene, cough and sneeze hygiene, face hygiene, avoid crowded places, do not queue too close to others (at least 2 metre separation), avoid public transport if possible - be aware of what you touch and who you are close to. Those over 70, those with long-term conditions, those pregnant or with a weakened immune system should especially observe these rules, staying at home if possible, to avoid picking up the virus.

A person living alone who has shown the symptoms of a high fever or continual cough or change or loss of sense of taste or smell should get a test by calling 119 or online here , stay in for 7 days (without visitors if possible) - relying on others to deliver shopping or until a negative test result is returned. Only if you get a negative test result and feel well can you end your isolation. Other members of a household where a person has these symptoms should stay in for for at least 14 days (without visitors if possible) - relying on outsiders to deliver shopping unless the person with symptoms gets a negative test result. Anyone who develops symptoms must stay in for 7 further days. Here is the NHS advice on staying in if you or someone in your household gets symptoms.

If you are asked to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus you must stay at home for 14 days - whether or not you get a negative test result. Other members of your household do not need to self-isolate. But if you develop symptoms or get a positive test result you must then all follow the appropriate rules.

We should all protect the NHS and NHS and social care staff who are now in the front line of this epidemic. Keep yourself free of the virus and if showing symptoms self-isolate as above, use the phone to contact your GP surgery, and access the NHS 111 service online by preference - do not go to a GP surgery, clinic or hospital without being told to do so.

Covid-19 testing is done not only for severely ill patients in hospital and NHS staff, but also for care home staff and residents and any people over 5 with symptoms.

As of 29th July 2020 there were (including both hospital and community cases) 802 confirmed cases in Reading, 492 in West Berkshire, 605 in Wokingham, 419 in Windsor and Maidenhead and 387 in Bracknell Forest according to the Public Health England Coronavirus reporting site.

Information from the Office of National Statistics: There were 64 deaths associated with covid-19 out of 168 in care homes in Reading in 2020 up to the 19th June. There were 89 deaths of Reading residents associated with covid-19 out of 335 in hospital in 2020 up to the 19th June. There were 9 deaths associated with Covid-19 out of 180 at home in Reading in 2020 up to 19th June.

At present the incidence of the disease in the UK is about 1 person in 2830 outside care settings - less in London and the South-East.

It is clear that Italy has passed the peak number of daily confirmed cases (6557) on 22nd March and the number of confirmed cases is declining at about 25% a week see according to the epidemiological bulletin of the Istituto Superiore de Sanità (click on Infografica) .

Read about Royal Berkshire Hospital's Coronavirus Action Plan

The growth of the infection is shown by this table of confirmed cases and deaths due to Covid-19 for the UK.

Date Confirmed Cases UK(RDG cases/ COVID-19 deaths in care homes) In-hospital Deaths from Covid-19 Weekly Growth Factor of Cases Weekly Growth Factor of New Cases
29 Feb 23
1 Mar 36
2 Mar 40
3 Mar 51
4 Mar 85
5 Mar 115
6 Mar 167
7 Mar 209
8 Mar 273
9 Mar 319
10 Mar 373 7.31
11 Mar 456 5.36
12 Mar 590 5.13
13 Mar 797 10 4.77
Cheltenham Festival ends
14 Mar 1140 21 5.45
15 Mar 1391 35 5.09
Testing only hospital cases
16 Mar 1543 55 4.84
Social distancing advice - reduce social contact
17 Mar 1950 56 5.23
18 Mar 2626 104 5.76
19 Mar 3269 144 5.54
20 Mar 3983 177 5.00
Pubs, cafes, gyms, restaurants, schools closed
21 Mar 5018 233 4.40
22 Mar 5683 281 4.09
23 Mar 6650 335 4.310
Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
24 Mar 8077 422 4.142
25 Mar 9529 465 3.629
26 Mar 11658 578 3.566
27 Mar 14759 759 3.705
Prime Minister, Health Secretary have Covid-19. 6,200 cases in hospital. 33,000 beds cleared for Covid-19 patients.
Testing of NHS staff to start.
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28 Mar 17089 1019 3.406
29 Mar 19522 1228 3.435
30 Mar 22141 1408 3.329
31 Mar 25150 1789 3.114
1 Apr 29474 2352 3.093
2 Apr 33718 2921 2.892
3 Apr 38168 3605 2.586
4 Apr 41903 4313 2.451
5 Apr 47806 4934 2.449
6 Apr 51608 5373 2.331
7 Apr 55242 6157 2.197
8 Apr 60733 7097 2.061
9 Apr 65077 7978 1.93
10 Apr 70272 8958 1.841
11 Apr 78991 9875 1.885
12 Apr 84279 9594 1.763
13 Apr 88621 (/3) 11329 1.717
14 Apr 93873(/3) 12107 1.699
15 Apr 98476 (/4) 12868 1.621
16 Apr 103903(/4) 13729 1.597
17 Apr 108692 (/12) 14576 1.547 0.922
18 Apr 114217 (/12) 15464 1.446 0.645
19 Apr 120067(/13) 16060 1.425 1.063
20 Apr 124743 (307/14) 16509 1.408 1.077
21 Apr 129044 (361/22) 17337 1.375 0.819
22 Apr 133495 (368/26) 18100 1.356 0.967
Date Confirmed Cases UK(RDG cases/ COVID-19 deaths in Reading care homes) New Confirmed Cases Weekly Growth Factor of Cases Weekly Growth Factor of New Cases
18,000 contact tracing and isolation support staff to be hired and trained. Test opened up to all key workers and their households.
.
23 Apr 138078 (/31) 4583 1.256 0.844
24 Apr 143464 (/34) 5386 1.320 1.125
25 Apr 148377(410/34) 4913 1.299 0.873
26 Apr 152840 (426/36) 4463 1.273 0.763
27 Apr 158149(/38) 5309 1.268 1.135
28 Apr 161145 (448/40) 2996 1.248 0.697
Testing broadened to all care home workers and residents and to anyone over 65 or travelling to work with symptoms. Deaths and confirmed cases now cover all settings.
.
29 Apr 165221(/41) 4076 1.238 0.916
30 Apr 171253 (460/44) 6032 1.232 1.120
1 May 177454 (474/44) 6201 1.237 1.151
2 May 182269 (480) 4815 1.228 0.980
3 May 186599 (496) 4330 1.221 0.970
4 May 190584 (501) 3985 1.205 0.751
5 May 194990 4406 1.210 1.471
6 May 201101 (514) 6111 1.218 1.499
7 May 206715 (517) 5614 1.207 0.931
8 May 211364 (529) 4649 1.191 0.75
9 May 215260 (536) 3896 1.181 0.809
10 May 219183 (536) 3853 1.175 0.890
In England "Stay at home" becomes "Stay alert". Workplaces except non-essential retail and hospitality to open if work cannot be done from home. More outdoor activity allowed.
11 May 223060 3877 1.170 0.973
12 May 226463 (543) 3403 1.156 0.772
13 May 229705 (545) 3242 1.142 0.531
14 May 233151 (547) 3446 1.128 0.614
15 May 236711 (551) 3560 1.120 0.766
16 May 240151 (552) 3450 1.116 0.866
17 May 243695 (558) 3543 1.112 0.917
18 May 246406 (564) 2711 1.105 0.699
Testing broadened to all care home workers and residents and to anyone over 5 with symptoms.
.
19 May 248818 (564) 2412 1.099 0.709
20 May 248293 - incorporates some delayed corrections (566) 2472 1.081 0.762
21 May 250908 (569) 2615 1.076 0.759
22 May 254195 (572) 3387 1.074 0.951
Funding announced for local authorities to take "leading role" in supporting test, trace and isolate programme
.
23 May 257154 (575) 2959 1.071 0.858
24 May 259559 (578) 2409 1.065 0.682
25 May 261184 (579) 1625 1.060 0.599
26 May 265227 (580) 4043 1.066 1.676
27 May 267240 (583) 2013 1.076 0.814
NHS Test and Trace service launched starting 9am 28th May.
.
28 May 269127 (584) 1887 1.076 0.895
29 May 271222 2095 1.067 0.619
30 May 272826 1604 1.061 0.542
31 May 274762 (586) 1946 1.059 0.809
As of 1st June nurseries open, primary school years Reception, 1 and 6 may return. Open air markets and car show-rooms open. Up to 6 people from 2 households can meet our of doors with 2 metre separation of households. Extremely vulnerable people who are shielding themselves can go out with a member of their household or one other person if they live alone.
.
1 June 276332 (586) 1570 1.058 0.966
2 June 277985 (585) 1653 1.048 0.409
3 June 279856 1871 1.047 0.929
4 June 281661 (587) 1805 1.047 0.957
5 June 283311 (588) 1650 1.044 0.788
Masks and face coverings required in hospitals for all staff and visitors.
6 June 284868 1557 1.044 0.971
7 June 286194 1326 1.042 0.681
8 June 287399 (592) 1205 1.040 0.768
9 June 289140 (591) 1741 1.040 1.053
10 June 290143 (591) 1003 1.037 0.536
11 June 291409 (593) 1266 1.035 0.701
As of 12th June any household not involving shielding may link exclusively with a 1-adult household also not shielding in a common support bubble.:
.
12 June 292950 (592) 1541 1.034 0.934
13 June 294375 (592) 1425 1.033 0.915
As of 15th June non-essential shops may open if they conform to covid-safe guidance. Face coverings must be worn on public transport.
.
14 June 295889 (591) 1514 1.034 1.142
15 June 296857 (592) 968 1.033 0.803
16 June 298136 (593) 1279 1.031 0.735
17 June 299251 (593) 1115 1.031 1.113
18 June 300469 1218 1.030 0.962
19 June 301815 (595) 1346 1.030 0.873
20 June 303110 (595) 1295 1.030 0.909
21 June 304331 (595) 1221 1.029 0.806
22 June 305289 958 1.028 0.875
23 June 306210 921 1.027 0.852
24 June 306862 (596) 652 1.025 0.823
25 June 307980 (596) 1118 1.025 0.918
26 June 309360 (596) 1380 1.025 1.025
27 June 310250 (596) 890 1.024 0.687
28 June 311151(596) 901 1.022 0.696
29 June 311965 814 1.022 0.850
30 June 312654 689 1.021 0.748
1 July 313483 829 1.022 1.271
Here Public Health England changed the basis of reporting - eliminating double counting the same case in hospital and community testing and adding in community tested cases to figures for local authorities for the first time.
.
2 July 283757 576
3 July 284276 519
Coronavirus reduction legislation becomes merely guidance. Pubs, cafes, restaurants, B&Bs, hotels, hairdressers, campsites open. Gyms, theatres and swimming pools remain closed. Two households can meet indoors or outdoors, socially distanced and any six people can meet, socially distanced outdoors.
.
4 July 284900(767) 624
5 July 285416(766) 516
6 July 285768(766) 352
7 July 286439(766) 671
8 July 286979(766) 540
9 July 287621(767) 642 1.014 1.115
Open air performances allowed. Outdoor pools open.
.
10 July 288133(770) 512 1.014 0.987
11 July 288953(772) 820 1.014 1.314
12 July 289603(773) 650 1.015 1.260
13 July 290133(773) 530 1.015 1.506
14 July 291373 1240 1.017 1.848
15 July 291911(775) 538 1.017 0.996
16 July 292552(776) 642 1.017 1.000
17 July 293239 687 1.018 1.342
18 July 294066 827 1.018 1.009
19 July 294792(783) 726 1.018 1.117
20 July 295372 580 1.018 1.094
21 July 295817 445 1.015 0.359
22 July 296377 440 1.015 0.818
23 July 297146(785) 769 1.016 1.198
24 July 297914 768 1.016 1.198
25 July 298681 767 1.016 0.927
26 July 297146(793) 769 1.016 1.026
A 14-day quarantine was introduced for travellers coming for all parts of Spain. The Foreign Office advice not to travel to Spain initially excluded the Balearic and Canary Islands but was revised to include them, much to Spanish annoyance.
.
27 July 300111 685 1.016 0.878
28 July 200692 581 1.016 1.306
29 July 301455(802) 763 1.017 1.175
Period of self-isolation for those with Covid-19 symptoms or having tested positive for it is extended from 7 days to 10 days.
.
30 July 302301 846 1.017 1.189
Households may not meet at home, even in garden in NorthWest areas includding Greater Manchester.
.
31 July 303181 880 1.018 1.181
1 August 303952 771 1.018 1.195
2 August 304695 743 1.018 1.190
3 August 305623 928 1.018 1.242
4 August 306293 (806) 670 1.019 1.220
29 July 301455(802) 763 1.017 1.175
Period of self-isolation for those with Covid-19 symptoms or having tested positive for it is extended from 7 days to 10 days.
.
30 July 302301 846 1.017 1.189

Reading's local services are affected by the epidemic - please see Reading Council's corona virus web page .

Reading Voluntary Action has advice on what you can do to help your community and is recruiting volunteers wanting to assist in these exceptional times at their web site .
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Reading Buses has announced that it will generally run a very reduced service with the 21a route eliminated as the University is closed. See their website. Reading concessionary bus passes can now be used in Reading at ANY time of day.

For an informative, individual view of the NHS's outlook subscribe to Roy Lilley's weekly newsletter at the Institute of Health Management web site

London's School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is offering a 3-week free online course on the COVID-19 disease -
click here for more infomation.

Read about Royal Berkshire Hospital's Coronavirus Action Plan