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1. National headline figures

Main results

  • Lab capacity in NHS Wales labs was 12,374 as at 21 June 2020. This does not include capacity at UK labs where some Welsh residents’ samples are processed.
  • As at 1pm on 21 June 2020, there have been 154,206 tests authorised by NHS Wales laboratories.
  • As at 7pm on 21 June 2020, there have been 24,290 tests authorised by non-NHS Wales laboratories for samples from Welsh residents.
  • There have been a total of 99,697 tests performed on critical workers in Wales which have been processed in NHS Wales laboratories.
  • Of the 159,374 tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories by the end of 21 June 2020, 51% of results were returned within a day and 84% of results were returned within two days.

Chart on the number of tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories at the end of 20 June 2020. The number of tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories has been on the rise since the middle of May until the start of June where there have been small increase.

Total number of tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories at the end of 20 June 2020 (MS Excel)

Data for 21 June only includes results authorised up to 1pm, these have been excluded from the chart but included in the total figures under main points.

  • The number of tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories has been increasing since the middle of May with a decline over the last few days.
  • Testing data may be underreported on 18 June due to technical issues. These results will be included at a later date once the issue has been resolved.
  • The highest number of tests authorised in a single calendar day was on 5 June, where 4,042 tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories.

Chart on the number of tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories by sample processed date at 7pm on 20 June 2020. The number of tests processed in non- NHS Wales laboratories has been on the rise since the middle of May, which coincides with the roll out of home testing in Wales.

Number of tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories by sample processed date at end of 20 June 2020 (MS Excel)

Data for 21 June only includes samples processed up to 7pm, these have been excluded due to the lag in testing samples and reporting results.

  • These figures include tests processed through labs outside NHS Wales, which includes tests on Welsh residents taken at testing centres in England and home testing kits.
  • The first sample processed by a non-NHS Wales laboratory for a Welsh resident was on 24 April. Testing increased with the roll out of home testing on 18 May.
Table 1: Total number of tests and results for critical workers processed in NHS Wales laboratories as at end 21 June 2020
Category Total positive tests Total negative tests Total number of tests
Healthcare worker 6,310 20,530 26,840
Care home resident 1,250 25,191 26,441
Care home worker 1,250 34,162 35,412
Educational institution worker/resident 25 632 657
Emergency services worker 153 873 1,026
Hostel or supported worker/resident 49 900 949
Household member of essential worker 385 3,932 4,317
Prison or detention centre worker/resident 42 154 196
Other essential worker 424 3,435 3,859

Source: Public Health Wales

  • Just under 62% of all tests on critical workers were performed on care home residents or care home workers.
  • 24% of tests conducted on healthcare workers and processed in NHS Wales laboratories identified positive results.

Chart on the proportion of tests authorised from NHS Wales laboratories within one, two and three days as at end 21 June 2020. Of all tests authorised from NHS Wales laboratories, 86% were returned within two days. This varies across centre type with 80% returned within two days in coronavirus testing units compared to 91% in hospitals.

Proportion of tests authorised from NHS Wales laboratories within one, two and three days as at end 21 June 2020 (MS Excel)

Since testing began up until the end of 21 June 2020:

  • There have been 74,861 tests authorised at coronavirus testing units, with 79% of results authorised within two days.
  • There have been 51,428 tests authorised at hospital, with 91% of results authorised within two days.
  • There have been 33,085 tests authorised at population testing units, with 87% of results authorised within two days.

The results performance shown is a measure from the date a sample is recorded as being collected to the time that the result is authorised in the central Public Health Wales laboratories.  It does not indicate how long it takes for an individual to receive their result from point of testing.

2. Background

We are publishing these data to provide a weekly summary of testing activity in Wales, including tests on critical workers and the timeliness of tests.

The majority of data presented here are based on the tests processed and authorised in NHS Wales laboratories on Welsh residents. This includes data on critical workers and timeliness of tests.

We have also provided data on the number and results of tests processed by non-NHS Wales on Welsh residents as part of the UK wide system. Public Health Wales is currently undertaking work to review this data and determine how this links with the existing data from tests undertaken in NHS laboratories in Wales. Whilst this work is ongoing, these figures have not been combined.

The data in this release is based on a mixture of dates at different stages of the testing process, such as specimen date, processing date and authorised data. Each table in the Open Data spreadsheet details the reporting timeframe.

Our data explainer titled Understanding data on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing provides further explanation on the data used including the difference in dates and data sources.

Data included in this release is correct at 23:59 on 21 June unless otherwise stated.

3. Quality and methodology information

Context

The data is management information which has been collected to support testing operations. We’re publishing these data to provide a timely summary of testing activity but has not undergone the same level of quality assurance as official statistics, with the data subject to future revisions. This weekly summary of COVID-19 testing information from the Public Health Wales (PHW) daily surveillance dashboard, plus further detail on the number of tests on critical workers and the location that the test sample was collected. Additionally, data on the number of tests processed in non-NHS Wales laboratories provided by NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) is included in this summary.

This information helps to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and contribute to Wales monitoring and decision-making.

Relevance

Public Health Wales analyse patient testing data from WLIMS as part of their disease surveillance responsibilities. In addition, these statistics are used daily for a number of other purposes:

  • to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • to support evidence-based advice on future decisions around reviews of lockdown arrangements
  • contributions to Wales and UK wide monitoring and decision-making

Accuracy

Public Health Wales Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre is responsible for carrying out surveillance of respiratory infections in Wales including the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Clinical data is stored in the Welsh Laboratory Information System (WLIMS), this includes COVID-19 testing data. The data is accessed and cleansed by Public Health Wales analysts, this includes removing duplicate positive cases prior to publishing the data on their daily surveillance dashboard. The data is revised on a daily basis and is classed as provisional subject to future revision.

Different test dates have been used when reporting test data depending on the nature of the data and the use. For rapid surveillance data the authorised test date has been used and is included in the headline figures presented by Public Health Wales, whereas for detailed surveillance over time the specimen date has been used.

Tests which have been authorised through non-NHS Wales laboratories on Welsh residents have been included in this summary. This includes samples from Welsh residents from COVID-19 drive-through testing centres in the UK and home testing kits. The dataset is presented as the number of tests and may include repeat tests for individuals. Some results are classed as indeterminate, which means that the laboratory could not obtain a valid result from the swab sample and so were unable to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 virus was present. This may occur because of a number of technical reasons.  Following an indeterminate result, it is recommended that the individual be retested.

Public Health Wales is currently undertaking work to review this data and determine how this links with the existing data from tests undertaken in NHS laboratories in Wales. Whilst this work is ongoing, these figures have not been incorporated together or into the headline number of cases in the Public Health Wales daily surveillance dashboard.

Further information can be found in our data explainer: Understanding data on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Timeliness and punctuality

The data in this release provides data from the 18 March 2020 and onwards.

Accessibility and clarity

This statistical release has been pre-announced and then published on the Statistics and Research section of our website. It is accompanied by an Open Document Spreadsheet to allow users to have direct access to the data that underlies the charts in this release.

Comparability

Public Health Wales produce a daily surveillance dashboard where users can access the most up to date information on the number of tests authorised, individuals tested (testing episodes) and positive cases.

Data for England is published on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK pages of the GOV.UK website and data for Scotland is published on the Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland pages of the GOV.SCOT website.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) also publish daily information on tests and positive cases.

National Statistics status

These statistics are not National Statistics. However, as far as has been practicable, they have been collected and validated in accordance with the pillars and principles within the Code of Practice for Statistics. We continue to develop the data collection and quality assurance process to improve the data.

These statistics have been produced quickly in response to developing world events.

Well-being of Future Generations Act

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 the National Assembly. The 46 national indicators were laid in March 2016.

Information on the indicators, along with narratives for each of the well-being goals and associated technical information is available in the Well-being 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 well-being assessments and local wellbeing plans.

Next update

This is currently a weekly statistical release. It will be published at 12.30pm every Tuesday following this week’s publication. We will review the frequency in line with changing user need.

The next release will be on Tuesday 30 June.

We want your feedback

We welcome any feedback on any aspect of these statistics which can be provided by email to kas.covid19@gov.wales

4. Contact details

Statistician: Matthew Curds
Telephone: 0300 062 8544
Email: kas.covid19@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

SDR 65/2020

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