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Government launch improved reporting on COVID-19 deaths – all settings and confirmed through testing

29 April 2020
  • New data on COVID-19 deaths to be published from today
  • The new daily count will include deaths in all settings with COVID-19 for the first time
  • Data will complement the new CQC and ONS figures on care homes

The Government will introduce a new system for reporting data on COVID-19 deaths across all settings on a daily basis from tomorrow.

Currently, only data on deaths in England occurring in hospital settings of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been included in daily updates.

PHE have updated their data reporting and collection in England and from tomorrow the daily UK count will show the total number of deaths for anyone with a positive test across all settings, including those out of hospital. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already report out of hospital deaths.

The figures, dating back from early March 2020 up to today, will be set out tomorrow afternoon at the daily press conference and published each day as part of the daily data reporting going forward.

The new figure will cover the whole of the UK, showing the number of deaths across all settings, whether they are in hospital, in a care home or in the community. This will include anyone who has died who has tested positive for COVID-19.

With more data available covering a wider scope, the new figure is expected to be higher than previous counts. The new system links positive test results in labs with the central NHS Digital patient record of all deaths for the first time, and includes deaths outside hospital.

To further complement our understanding of the virus and its impact, from today, the ONS and CQC has also set out a more up to date assessment of deaths specifically in care homes, drawing on existing death registration data from ONS but also adding in new data from CQC notification processes.

The ONS and CQC’s weekly series includes data with a time lag of up to 11 days, and includes suspected cases of coronavirus as denoted on death certificates.

Today’s data will only include those cases confirmed through testing.

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