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Covid-19: England to test 150 000 people every two weeks to track local outbreaks

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 19 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3269

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  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is to expand its infection survey to 150 000 people a fortnight in England by October, up from the current 28 000, in order to provide more information about the spread of covid-19 infection within the community and help to identify local outbreaks.1

The aim is to eventually enrol 400 000 people in England. The ONS has also partnered with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to extend the survey across the UK. The infection survey started as a pilot in May to track infection rates outside of hospitals and care homes, regardless of whether a person has symptoms.

Latest data from the survey shows an estimated 28 300 people within the community population in England had …

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