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Introduction

During this period of high infections, Office for National Statistics (ONS) are publishing early headline results from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection survey at 2pm on Wednesdays. This release accompanies a limited dataset which includes estimates of positivity by country and variant analysis by country. This is a summary of those headline estimates for Wales. This does not replace the full COVID-19 infection survey release that is published every Friday at 12pm. A statement explaining the need for the additional headline estimates has been produced by ONS.

Today, ONS have published estimates of the numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19 in the week 25 to 31 December 2021.

Main points

  • In Wales, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 continued to increase; it is estimated that 157,900 people in Wales had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 138,900 to 179,600), equating to around 1 in 20 people.
  • COVID-19 infections compatible with the Omicron variant continued to increase rapidly across Wales, and Omicron is now the most common variant of COVID-19 in Wales.

The numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19 have continued to rise across all countries of the UK in the latest week.

UK comparison

  • In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase; it is estimated that 3,270,800 people in England had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 3,163,500 to 3,377,500), equating to around 1 in 15 people.
  • In Northern Ireland, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 continued to increase; it is estimated that 72,900 people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 56,800 to 90,100), equating to around 1 in 25 people.
  • In Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 continued to increase; it is estimated that 238,000 people in Scotland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 209,300 to 268,000), equating to around 1 in 20 people. 

Quality and methodology information

All results are provisional and subject to revision.

These statistics refer to infections occurring in private households, and exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments.

Omicron variant-compatible positives are defined as those that are positive on the ORF1ab-gene and N-gene, but not the S-gene. Delta variant-compatible positives will mostly have a gene pattern ORF1ab + N + S (or occasionally S + ORF1ab and S + N), and so in this analysis are defined as those that are positive on the ORF1ab, N-gene and S-gene, as well as gene patterns N+S and ORF1ab+S. 

Data should be treated with caution. Not all cases positive on the S-gene will be the Delta variant, but some cases with pattern ORF1ab+N will also be the Delta variant where the S-gene was not detected for other reasons, such as low viral load.

Well-being of Future Generations Act (WFG)

The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act puts in place seven wellbeing goals for Wales. These are for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Under section (10)(1) of the Act, the Welsh Ministers must (a) publish indicators (“national indicators”) that must be applied for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals, and (b) lay a copy of the national indicators before Senedd Cymru. Under section 10(8) of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, where the Welsh Ministers revise the national indicators, they must as soon as reasonably practicable (a) publish the indicators as revised and (b) lay a copy of them before the Senedd. These national indicators were laid before the Senedd in 2021. The indicators laid on 14 December 2021 replace the set laid on 16 March 2016.

Information on the indicators, along with narratives for each of the well-being goals and associated technical information is available in the Wellbeing of Wales report.

Further information on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The statistics included in this release could also provide supporting narrative to the national indicators and be used by public services boards in relation to their local wellbeing assessments and local wellbeing plans.

Next update

12 January 2022

Contact details

Statistician: Sean White
Telephone: 0300 025 0822
Email: kas.covid19@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

SFR 9/2022

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