The data are taken from management information and are subject to change. They have not been not been subject to the same validation processes undertaken for official statistics releases. We are publishing these data to provide a weekly summary of testing activity in Wales, including tests on critical workers, residents and the timeliness of tests. This statistical release is evolving and we appreciate feedback to improve the content.
Accompanying tables for this release are available separately, including all the data shown in this release and historical data.
1. National headline figures
- Antigen lab capacity in NHS Wales labs was 15,167 as at 9 August 2020. This does not include capacity at UK labs where some Welsh residents’ samples are processed.
- As at 1pm on 9 August 2020, there have been 442,611 antigen tests authorised for Welsh residents.
- There have been a total of 275,050 antigen tests performed on critical workers and residents where critical workers are employed in Wales.
- In the latest week, just over a third of key worker screening tests processed in NHS Wales labs were authorised within one day. The majority of these were carried out in care homes and involve a longer process with tests delivered to care homes and then onto labs via courier.
- In the latest week, nearly 70% of community: on demand tests and 88% of hospital tests processed in NHS Wales laboratories were authorised in one day. (See Understanding data on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for more information about test location categories.)
- By the end of 9 August 2020, 68,550 antibody tests have been authorised for Welsh residents processed through NHS Wales laboratories with 7,282 positive results.
Data for 9 August only includes results authorised up to 1pm.
Public Health Wales have finalised their work to bring together tests authorised in non-NHS Wales (Lighthouse Labs) with NHS Wales laboratory processed tests. Chart 1 shows the number of tests authorised in both NHS Wales and non-NHS Wales laboratories.
- The number of tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories had been on the rise until the start of June where there was a small decrease and the number of tests broadly levelling off.
- The highest number of tests authorised in a single calendar day was on 25 July, where 7,608 tests authorised in NHS Wales and non-NHS Wales laboratories.
- These figures include tests processed through labs outside NHS Wales, which includes tests for Welsh residents taken at testing centres in England, some testing centres in Wales, tests ordered through the care home portal 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.
- Tests processed through non-NHS Wales laboratories began to increase towards the end of June. This is largely due to Welsh residents beginning to book tests through the newly available care home portal.
2. Turnaround times for antigen tests
The figures shown are measured from the date a sample is recorded as being collected to the time the result is authorised. It does not indicate how long it takes for an individual to receive their result from point of testing.
Data on the time taken to receive a COVID-19 test result is split by testing route, as this will have an impact on the time taken to complete the test processing. Home tests need to be posted and couriered to lab. Screening tests in settings such as care homes may be completed in batches of tests across different staff shifts before returning the tests by courier. These methods can have an impact on the turnaround time of the test. Screening care home tests processed by NHS Wales labs are included in the community: regular asymptomatic screening programme figures.
From this release onwards we have split out the community tests by the different pathways, with tests completed due to clinical need reported separately to tests completed to screen individuals who have been identified as asymptomatic key workers or residents. Although the term satellite is used, some of the screening tests of asymptomatic keyworkers or residents included in this category may be conducted in person as part of wider mass and community testing. Further work is needed to fully understand this distinction and may lead to some reallocation of tests between categories in future releases.
Further information can be found in our data explainer including what is included in the each location category: Understanding data on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Previously the majority of samples collected at mass testing centres were processed in NHS Wales laboratories, however, a number of these centres now use the non-NHS Wales laboratories (known as lighthouse laboratories).
Since testing began up until the end of 9 August 2020:
- there have been 39,230 tests authorised as part of satellite asymptomatic screening of keyworkers, with 25.9% authorised within one calendar day and 54.9% of results authorised within two calendar days
- there have been 65,934 tests authorised for community and mass testing: in person, with 55.5% authorised within one day and 79.4% of results authorised within two calendar days
- there have been 68,169 tests authorised at hospital, with 77.8% authorised within one day and 96.6% of results authorised within two days
In the latest week (commencing 3 August 2020):
- there have been 10,024 tests authorised as part of a key worker asymptomatic screening programme, with 37.3% authorised within one day, which is an increase compared to the previous week
- there have been 3,141 tests authorised as part of on demand testing in the community, with 69.9% authorised within one day, which is slight lower than the previous week
- there have been 4,494 tests authorised at hospital, with 88.4% authorised within one day, a slight increase compared to the previous week
Tests carried out as part of satellite asymptomatic screening of key workers which are authorised in NHS Wales laboratories are mainly satellite tests. However, there may be a small proportion which are in person screening of key workers at testing sites. Satellite tests are when the sample is collected in a different setting other than a testing centre, for example care homes. Once the sample has been collected a courier is requested to collect the samples and deliver to a lab for processing. Care homes may complete batches of tests across different staff shifts before returning the tests by courier. These methods can have an impact on the turnaround time of the test with a large number of tests included in these categories being from care homes.
Although the term satellite is used, some of the screening tests of asymptomatic keyworkers or residents included in this category may be conducted in person as part of wider mass and community testing. Further work is needed to fully understand this distinction and may lead to some reallocation of tests between categories in future releases.
The majority of tests for satellite asymptomatic screening of key workers processed in NHS Wales laboratories are for care homes (94%). The breakdown is provided in the accompanying data tables.
Prior to 22 June, data was not available to provide the spilt between community and mass testing in person and satellite asymptomatic screening of key workers. Combined data for community testing prior to 22 June and previous week’s turnaround times are included in the accompanying data tables.
Data for the latest week up to 9 August 2020 has not been included with data quality issues currently under investigation. We aim to publish the latest data in the next release.
Since testing began up until the end of 2 August 2020:
- there have been 80,957 organisation portal tests authorised with 51.3% authorised within one day and 88.4% of results authorised within two days
- there have been 34,314 home tests authorised, with 33.0% authorised within one day and 78.3% of results authorised within two days
- there have been 20,611 tests authorised from community testing processed in non-NHS Wales laboratories, with 95.3% authorised within one day and 98.4% of results authorised within two days
In the latest week of available data (commencing 27 July 2020):
- there have been 13,943 organisation portal tests authorised with 52.8% authorised within one calendar day, which is slightly higher than last week
- there have been 3,122 home tests authorised, with 49.6% authorised within one calendar day
- there have been 4,593 tests authorised from community tests processed in non-NHS Wales laboratories, with 97.6% authorised within one calendar day
3. Critical workers and residents antigen tests
|Category||Total positive tests||Total negative tests||Total number of tests|
|Key worker: care home||1,356||95,140||96,496|
|Resident: care home||1,348||38,753||40,101|
|Resident or key worker: care home||134||93,559||93,693|
|Care home total||2,838||227,452||230,290|
|Key worker: education||23||839||862|
|Resident or key worker: education||2||10||12|
|Key worker: emergency||149||1,008||1,157|
|Key worker: healthcare||6,390||24,927||31,317|
|Key worker: hostel or supported living||16||932||948|
|Resident: hostel or supported living||71||2,788||2,859|
|Resident or key worker: hostel or supported living||11||25||36|
|Hostel or supported living total||98||3,745||3,843|
|Key worker: prison or detention centre||25||132||157|
|Resident: prison or detention centre||2||32||34|
|Resident or key worker: prison or detention centre||109||451||560|
|Prison or detention centre total||136||615||751|
|Key worker: other or unknown||501||5,368||5,869|
|Resident: other or unknown||102||574||676|
|Other or unknown total||603||5,942||6,545|
Source: Public Health Wales
Table 1 shows the number of tests authorised for critical workers and residents where critical workers are employed in Wales authorised in NHS Wales and non-NHS Wales laboratories.
Public Health Wales are currently undertaking improvements to the critical worker and resident category in their data. This has led to revisions in the data and different categories being used compared to previous publications.
- Around 84% of all tests for critical workers were performed on care home residents or care home workers.
- Around 20% of tests conducted for healthcare workers identified positive results.
The number of tests recorded for critical workers is dependent on the critical worker category being recorded in the system when the sample was taken. It is currently not possible to distinguish between key worker and residents for samples processed in non-NHS Wales laboratories and have been included together in the table.
It is possible to distinguish between key workers and residents for tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories, however, it is not possible to do this for tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories. For tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories the location has been used to identify key workers and residents. For example, tests authorised in non-NHS Wales laboratories from samples collected at a care home are included in the Resident or key worker: care home category in Table 1.
4. Critical workers and residents antibody tests
|Category||Positive results||Negative results||Equivocal results||Number of tests|
|Key worker or resident: care home||39||211||9||259|
|Key worker or resident: education||1,105||18,752||130||19,987|
|Key worker: emergency||59||337||6||402|
|Key worker: healthcare||4,968||34,009||61||39,038|
|Key worker or resident: other or unknown||23||413||6||442|
|Key worker or resident: prison or detention centre||*||*||*||14|
|Resident: hostel or supported living||*||*||*||*|
|Household member of keyworker||*||*||*||6|
Source: Public Health Wales & NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS)
* The data item is suppressed to avoid disclosure.
Table 2 shows the number of antibody tests authorised in NHS Wales laboratories and lateral flow tests.
Since testing began up until the end of 9 August 2020 there have been 19,987 antibody tests for key workers or residents in education and 39,038 antibody tests for healthcare key workers. This reflects the current sampling strategy of prioritising antibody testing for these key workers and residents. These data include 10,228 lateral flow tests.
The number of tests and results reflect a snapshot in time and will be greatly influenced by the sampling strategy at that moment in time. Currently antibody testing is only available to priority groups, more information is available in the Antibody testing: coronavirus (COVID-19) pages of our website.
If an antibody test is equivocal, it means that the result is inconclusive.
We are publishing these data to provide a weekly summary of testing activity in Wales, including tests on critical workers, residents and the timeliness of tests.
From 13 July, Public Health Wales have combined tests and results processed in NHS Wales laboratories and non-NHS Wales laboratories, which were previously reported separately. Chart 1 and Table 1 include tests processed for Welsh residents through both NHS Wales laboratories and non-NHS Wales laboratories (Lighthouse Labs). Chart 2 shows only tests authorised at NHS Wales laboratories and Chart 3 only shows tests authorised through non-NHS Wales laboratories. Table 2 shows antibody tests authorised through NHS Wales laboratories and lateral flow tests.
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.
COVID-19 antibody tests are used to find out whether a person has previously had the virus. The antibody test works by taking a blood sample and testing for the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are produced by the body in response to an infection and can usually be found in the blood after around 2 weeks following infection.
Antibody testing is only available to priority groups at the moment with testing prioritised for a sample of school staff who have previously worked in education hubs and healthcare workers. Further explanation of antibody testing in Wales can be found on our policy pages: Antibody testing: coronavirus (COVID-19).
Data included in this release is correct at 23:59 on 9 August unless otherwise stated.
6. Quality and methodology information
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.
This information helps to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and contribute to Wales monitoring and decision-making.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is currently a weekly statistical release. It will be published at 12.30pm every Tuesday. We will review the frequency in line with changing user need.
The next release will be on Wednesday 19 August.
We want your feedback
We welcome any feedback on any aspect of these statistics which can be provided by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.