The weekly statistics from the 14th week of NHS Test and Trace show in the most recent week of operations (27 August to 2 September):
- testing capacity increased by 7.7% from the previous week to 1,576,881 (pillars 1 and 2)
- 82.7% of people who tested positive and were transferred to the contact-tracing system were reached and asked to provide information about their contacts
- 79.4% of contacts where communication details were given have been reached and told to self-isolate
- 89.6% of in-person tests results were received the next day after the test was taken
- pillar 1 testing capacity was at 575,381, an increase of 0.08% since the previous week
- pillar 2 testing capacity was at 1,001,500, an increase of 12.7% since the previous week
- pillar 3 testing capacity was at 840,000, the same as the previous week
- pillar 4 testing capacity was at 82,700, an increase of 93.7% since the previous week
Statistics from the 14th week of operation of NHS Test and Trace show that since the service launched:
- 358,294 people have been reached by the service. This includes both those testing positive and their contacts
- 87% of all contacts where communication details were given have been reached and told to self-isolate
Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection Baroness Dido Harding, said:
NHS Test and Trace is working and every week we consistently reach the majority of people testing positive and their contacts. We have now reached almost 360,000 people who may be at risk of unknowingly passing on the virus, helping to curb its spread.
We are doing more testing for the British public than other comparable European countries and we are adding thousands more tests a day. The figures show we have seen a significant increase in the demand for tests, but given the concerning rise in cases over the last couple of days, it is still vital for anybody who has symptoms to book a test and follow the advice you receive if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
New booking slots and home testing kits are made available daily and please remember to protect yourself, loved ones and the public by washing your hands, covering your face and making space. And for those who don’t have symptoms or haven’t been told they must have a test, we would please ask you to reconsider as it might could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it.
Employer testing guidance
Creating a mass testing programme from scratch, which has carried out more than 16 million tests, is helping us get back to a more normal way of life. Alongside the NHS Test and Trace service, the government is aware that some employers want to introduce their own internal testing programmes.
High-quality testing provides confidence and clarity. The government has today published guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers around voluntary testing in the workplace. This is to ensure all new private testing programmes are as reliable and effective as possible, and developed in accordance with legal obligations and best practice. The guidance makes clear that employers must not advise individuals without symptoms to get a test through NHS Test and Trace, but may offer alternative private provision in accordance with the guidance.
All positive results must be reported to Public Health England (PHE), so that they are automatically passed to the NHS Test and Trace service to trace contacts and prevent further transmission.
Testing eligibility guidance
Today we are also updating guidance to make it clear you should only get a free NHS test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get a test.
See the guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
We are increasing the number of testing sites to 500 by the end of October. We have more than 400 in operation, added 19 last week and expect 17 more this week.
We have increased the number of local or walk-in test sites to over 70 with further opening each week.
As part of the drive towards a target of 500,000-a-day testing UK capacity by the end of October the government has announced the addition of new Lighthouse laboratories in Newport and near Loughborough to the national lab network and work is ongoing to expand this even further in the coming months.
Testing per capita: Reporting methodologies vary, but data suggests the UK is testing at a higher rate per capita than countries of comparable size, including Germany and Spain. Currently, for every 1,000 people, the UK tests 2.54 people each day, whereas Germany tests 1.88 and Spain tests 1.91
Tests in the UK are carried out through a number of different routes:
- pillar 1: swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers
- pillar 2: swab testing for the wider population, as set out in government guidance
- pillar 3: serology testing to show if people have antibodies from having had COVID-19
- pillar 4: blood and swab testing for national surveillance supported by PHE, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and research, academic, and scientific partners to learn more about the prevalence and spread of the virus and for other testing research purposes, such as the accuracy and ease of use of home testing