The main points from this week’s national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level COVID-19 activity remained stable across week 12 of 2021.

Overall case rates decreased slightly, however slight increases were seen in case rates in the 10 to 19 year age group in the past 3 weeks, mostly among children of younger secondary age. This is likely to reflect the impact of schools reopening which occurred in week 10 and the mass testing programme in secondary schools.

Case rates are highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a case rate of 109.8 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates continue to be in those aged 70 to 79, with a rate of 10.7 per 100,000 population.

Case rates per 100,000 have fallen across all regions and remain highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, at 109.1.

Case rates per 100,000 are lowest in the South West, with a rate of 28.4.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 294 in week 12, compared to 233 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for COVID-19 has fallen and was 2.70 per 100,000 in week 12, compared to 3.58 per 100,000 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 have fallen across all regions.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are now highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 4.04.

The highest hospital admission rates continue to be those aged 85 and above.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England said:

This long weekend many of us will be out and about, seeing friends and family for the first time in months. Case rates are still high in certain places.  Whatever you are doing, I urge you to continue the good practise of washing your hands, wearing a face covering where needed, keeping your distance and staying outside when mixing with others.

Advice to shield has now relaxed. You can mix outside with 5 others or in 2 households, keep to these guidelines, they are there to protect us and you could be saving someone’s life by reducing transmission.