Search icon


29th Aug 2021

Covid cases in England are 26 times higher than this time last year

Danny Jones

Covid cases are 26x higher than last year

More than 60% are now double-jabbed but cases aren’t going away

According to the latest from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Covid cases are now 26 times higher than this time last year. Scientists described the figures as “sobering” and the larger figures serve as a strong reminder that just because things have reopened, doesn’t mean coronavirus went away.

In addition to this increase in the infection rate, more than 30,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been announced today, as well as a further 969 hospitalisations and 61 deaths.

The spike in cases was always going to happen following the reopening of schools, workplaces and all other non-essential businesses, but the belief is that a rollout of booster jabs will be needed later this year to keep immunity levels high.

Pressure is mounting on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to approve the deployment of extra doses for vulnerable people and in order to extend vaccinations to most 12-15-year-olds as well.

Simon Clarke – associate professor in cellular microbiology at Reading University – said that in the week ending 20 August, the ONS estimated that at least 756,900 people in England were infected with Covid-19: this equates to one person in 70.

“This time last year, the ONS estimated that 28,200 people in England were infected. That is the equivalent of one person in 1,900 being infected with Covid-19. That means that community infections are 26 times more common now than they were a year ago, when the population was unvaccinated and the country was three months into its reopening.”

He went on to say that “Increasing numbers of community infections still translate into growing numbers of very sick patients, and an unnecessarily high burden on the NHS”, as well as cooler autumn weather and increased mixing indoors being likely to exacerbate transmission even more in the coming weeks.