Schools and universities are the most common setting for COVID-19 outbreaks, according to the latest report from Public Health England (PHE).
The total number of outbreaks continued to rise during the week starting May 26, according to the latest available data, despite a 39% drop in the number of households in education.
The PHE report says this coincides with the start of the mid-term break and the bank holiday weekend.
The rapid spread of the Delta (Indian) variant comes against a backdrop of increasing infection rates across the UK, with over 11,000 new cases of COVID recorded Thursday and 10,000 Friday.
Until the end of May, schools and universities systematically accounted for the majority of epidemics. Nearly half of the more than 10,000 incidents the week beginning May 19 occurred in schools for those under 18, according to PHE.
Outbreaks in recreation areas are increasing in number, as well as a percentage of the total, as people return to public spaces.
The increase is most pronounced in hospitality and travel, which saw 2.5 and 6.2 times more Delta variant outbreaks, respectively, in the seven days from May 26 than the week before. This came shortly after new restrictions on social gatherings were lifted on May 17.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said the rise in infections is due to younger age groups.
Infection rates are currently highest among people aged 20 to 24 at 243 cases per 100,000 people. This is more than five times the rate for people aged 50 to 54.
Dr Harries said: “Cases are increasing rapidly across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant. The increase is mostly in younger age groups, many of whom were not vaccinated but are now being urged to receive the vaccine. “
The spread among younger age groups is one reason the government is rapidly expanding the rollout of its vaccination program ….
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This notice was published: 2021-06-18 14:28:00