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26 July COVID-19 PCR test results for UK Biobank

During June and July further tranches of COVID-19 PCR test result data for UK Biobank participants, collated from Public Health England data, have been released. The latest data covers the period March 16 - July 26. For details of how to access the data, see this post.

  • 1650 participants returned one or more positive tests, of whom 1069 returned tests while a hospital inpatient*
  • 11852 participants never returned a positive test, of whom 9325 returned tests while a hospital inpatient
* This definition of COVID-19 positive inpatient does not require that the positive test and the test while an inpatient necessarily coincide in participants with multiple tests. Requiring them to coincide on the same test reduces this number from 1069 to 1030.

Compare the totals to the 31 May 2020 release here.

Important updates:
  • The number of participants with one or more positive tests increased by 176 since 31 May (a 12% increase), reflecting the lowest infection rates seen since March. While rates remain low, we intend to extract new tranches monthly rather than weekly.
  • The number of participants with negative but no positive tests increased by 7209 since 31 May (a 155% increase), reflecting increased testing by NHS laboratories.
  • New negative test results are still absent for some laboratories following the implementation of Pillar 2 testing, while for other laboratories, the information used to determine evidence of inpatient status (the origin column) is absent for negative test results: see here and mention of 'Respiratory DataMart' in Armstrong et al (2020) for details.
  • This latest tranche includes additional data used to define the origin column (evidence for inpatient status) in the columns acute (the ‘Acute Trust’ flag, meaning that the test came from a hospital delivering emergency care), hosaq (the ‘Hospital Acquired Infection’ flag) and reqorg (the Requesting Organization Type associated with the test, which uses data coding 3311).
There will be a further post comparing the evidence for inpatient status derived from Public Health England's Second Generation Surveillance System (the origin, acute, hosaq and reqorg columns) to Hospital Episode Statistics in UK Biobank.

The long tail of the epidemic in England can be seen in a new version of Figure 4 of our paper updated to 1 July. For the latest information visit coronavirus.data.gov.uk.

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