Covid-19 infection rates: parts of Greater Manchester have among England and the region’s highest rates

The survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics shows how prevalent the coronavirus is in each area in the city-region.

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Covid-19 infection rates in parts of Greater Manchester are among the highest in England and the North West, data shows.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has carried out its monthly survey showing how prevalent the novel coronavirus is in local authority areas across the country. The statistics include figures for all 10 boroughs within the city-region.

Here is what the data shows for Greater Manchester and how the ONS is working out how many people are being infected with Covid at a time when testing rates are very low.

What do the figures show for Greater Manchester?

The latest monthly survey, which was carried out during the period between 27 September and 3 October, showed that the highest rate of Covid-19 infection in Greater Manchester was Tameside. Models suggest that 3.3% of the borough’s population had Covid-19 in that time period, which is a rate of 1 in 30 people. Identical statistics were recorded in Trafford.

These two boroughs had the second and third highest percentages of the population with Covid-19 in both the North West and England as a whole.

The rate of infection was 1 in 35 people in Stockport (2.9% of the population modelled to have the virus), Oldham (2.8%) and Manchester (2.7%).

The other five boroughs in Greater Manchester had a rate of infection of 1 in 40 people. The percentages of the population thought to have Covid-19 were 2.7% in Rochdale and Bolton, 2.6% in Salford and Bury and 2.5% in Wigan.

The ONS said that in England Covid-19 infection rates are currently increasing from the last survey it carried out. In England the number of people estimated to have Covid-19 was just over 1.5m, equivalent to 2.78% of the population at a rate of 1 in 35 people.

How does the ONS work out how prevalent Covid now is?

The ONS’ Coronavirus Infection Survey works by regularly testing a representative sample of the UK population to figure out how common Covid-19 is at a time when many people who have the virus are not testing for it. Participants fill out an online questionnaire and send in blood and swab samples.

The positivity rate is the modelled percentage of people who would have tested positive for Covid-19 on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The figures are based on confirmed positive Covid-19 test results from those living in private households, excluding those living in care homes or other communal establishments.