Covid-19 infections among over-70s hit new high in England

Covid-19 infections among people aged 70 and over in England have climbed to a new all-time high, with the virus also circulating at record levels among young adults.

There are signs the recent sharp rise in infections may have come to a halt among people aged 35 to 69, however.

Prevalence of Covid-19 remains high among all ages, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But the trend in infections varies across different groups.

The percentage of over-70s testing positive for coronavirus has been at a record level for several weeks and climbed again to 7.2%, or one in 14 people, in the seven days to April 2.

Infection rates for 25 to 34-year-olds have also increased and now stand at a record 8.3%, the equivalent of one in 12 people – the highest ratio for any age group.

By contrast, the rise in infections among 50 to 69-year-olds looks to have levelled off, though the percentage testing positive remains at a record 7.2%, or one in 14 people.

The rate for people aged 35 to 49 has fallen slightly week-on-week from a record 8.0% to 7.7%, or one in 13.

It is too soon to know whether the change in infections among these age groups is the start of a downwards trend or a levelling off.

Figures published on Thursday by the Health Security Agency (HSA) showed rates of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England among all age groups over 65 are the highest since the second wave of the virus in the early weeks of 2021.

Admissions for people aged 85 and over currently stand at 204 per 100,000, up week on week from 191.9.

Professor Steven Riley, HSA director-general of data, analytics and surveillance, said the numbers “remind us that the pandemic is not over and Covid-19 still poses a real risk to vulnerable people”.

He warned that “as people mix more” there have also been “increasing levels of common infections such as flu and norovirus”.

PA Graphics (PA Graphics)© Provided by Evening Standard PA Graphics (PA Graphics)

Prevalence of Covid-19 among children and teenagers is high but remains below the record levels seen at the start of this year, the ONS said.

Around one in 13 children between aged two and school year 6 were likely to have had coronavirus last week, down from one in 11 in the previous week.

For children from school years 7 to 11 the figure is unchanged at one in 20, while for people from school year 12 to age 24 prevalence has increased from one in 18 to one in 15.

The high level of infections in all age groups continues to be driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

Across England as a whole, a record 4.1 million people in private households – one in 13 – were likely to test positive for Covid-19 last week, broadly unchanged from the previous week.





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