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Supermarket most likely place for Brits to have visited before positive Covid test, Test & Trace data shows

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SUPERMARKETS are the most common place people have visited before testing positive for the coronavirus, new data has revealed.

Supermarkets have remained open during both national lockdowns and new data collated by Public Health England (PHE) from the NHS Test and Trace app has revealed that shops are the most frequent Covid exposure setting.

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The data found that the most common setting for people testing positive had been the supermarket

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The data found that the most common setting for people testing positive had been the supermarket Credit: Getty – Contributor
The chart above shows what activities and events people who contracted the virus participated in before testing positive

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The chart above shows what activities and events people who contracted the virus participated in before testing positive Credit: PHE

PHE analysed data from people who contracted the virus between November 9 and November 15.

They looked at the contacts of those who had caught the virus and retraced the steps of 128,808 people who tested positive.

By analysing this data, PHE were able to find the most frequent places people with the virus had visited before they had tested positive.

Supermarkets were the most common location of people who reported to have tested positive for the virus.

Of those who tested positive, it was found that 18.3 per cent had visited a supermarket.

PHE stated that the data did not prove where people had caught the killer bug.

The data showed that 60.5 per cent of people who had tested positive had had their contacts traced.

At the start of the pandemic large queues were seen outside of supermarkets as people lined up to buy essentials.

Shops had limited the amount of people inside as they tried to maintain social distancing measures.

Shoppers in supermarkets also have to wear face masks when buying their goods – unless they are exempt under national guidelines.

When other retail shops opened in the summer, customers were urged to wear masks, months later it was also made mandatory for staff to wear a mask or covering.

In September supermarket bosses urged customers to not panic buy products after shelves were left empty during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring.

Experts said that it’s “not surprising” that supermarkets featured heavily in the data.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Supermarkets are one of the very few places that people can visit during lockdown so it is unsurprising that they feature strongly when people are asked where they have visited.

“Retailers continue to follow all safety guidance to make their premises Covid-secure.”

Data from PHE revealed where the most common infections were reported

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Data from PHE revealed where the most common infections were reported

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Both primary and secondary schools reopened in September after kids were kept off school during the first national lockdown.

The data found that secondary schools were the second place where transmission was highest, followed by primary schools.

It was revealed that 12.7 per cent of people who tested positive had attended secondary school and 10.1 per cent had attended a primary school.

This was based on pupils attending the schools.

The government vowed to keep schools open and said the education of kids was a priority after the first national lockdown.

In the last week, 124 clusters of the coronavirus have been reported in English secondary schools.

The graph above shows the difference in positive Covid cases across different educational institutions

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The graph above shows the difference in positive Covid cases across different educational institutionsCredit: PHE

WHERE ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO CATCH COVID?

Public Health England used data from NHS Track and Trace to find out the common places people had visited who had tested positive for Covid-19.

  • Supermarket – 18.3%
  • Secondary school – 12.7%
  • Primary school – 10.1%
  • Hospital – 3.6%
  • Care home – 2.8%
  • College – 2.4%
  • Warehouse – 2.2%
  • Nursery preschool – 1.8%
  • Pub or bar – 1.6%
  • Hospitality – 1.5%
  • University – 1.4%
  • Manufacture engineering – 1.4%
  • Household fewer than five – 1.2%
  • General practice – 1.1%
  • Gym – 1.1%
  • Restaurant or cafe – 1.0%

In total, there have been 822 reported clusters of the coronavirus in English secondary schools.

In primary schools there has been a total of 732 clusters reported.

Hull in East Yorkshire is currently one of the most infected areas in the country and it was this week reported that schools in the area are on the brink of collapse as thousands of secondary school pupils have been forced to self isolate.

This week Chris Long, the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive, has said that a stiffer lockdown is needed to tackle growing cases in the area.

He said schools might have to be closed in the area in order to curb transmission.

Hospitals, colleges, care homes and warehouses all followed as the places where transmission was highest.

The graph above shows hospitalisation rates across the country

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The graph above shows hospitalisation rates across the countryCredit: PHE

Surprisingly, just 3.6 per cent of people who had tested positive had been in a hospital setting – this was people who had reportedly visited hospitals.

Care homes were also found to have a lower transmission rate and 2.8 per cent of people who tested positive said they had been at a care home.

Unlike secondary and primary schools, just 2.4 per cent of people who said they had been at a college had tested positive for the virus.

During the pandemic, warehouses have also been a place where many outbreaks have occurred due to close working conditions.

The data found that 2.2 per cent of people who had been at a warehouse had tested positive for the coronavirus.

In July there had been an outbreak at an Iceland distribution centre in Swindon and just last month 174 workers in Norfolk were struck down at a meat factory after an outbreak.

The data also found that transmission was highest in households and also revealed that infections rates could be levelling off in some parts of the country.

Graphs provided by PHE showed that hospital admissions were levelling off in some places such as London and the South East.

UK Covid cases fall for second week in a row with 19,609 infections and 529 deaths as Christmas hopes grow





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