United Kingdom

COVID-19: Supermarkets most common exposure setting for catching coronavirus in England, latest data suggests


Supermarkets are the most frequent common exposure setting for those catching COVID-19 in England, new data suggests.

Public Health England (PHE) collated the data using the NHS Test and Trace app.

By analysing the contacts and retracing the steps of the 128,808 people who’d reported they had tested positive between 9 November and 15 November, PHE has uncovered where transmission is likely to be happening.

During the increased national restrictions in England, supermarkets have remained open for shoppers. The new data set suggests they are now the primary setting where the disease is being transmitted.

The second most common location reported by those who tested positive for COVID-19 were secondary schools, followed by primary schools, and then hospitals, and then care homes.

Proportion of all common locations reported in PHE data:

  • 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 the most recent week, 124 clusters of COVID-19 were recorded in English secondary schools.

The total number of outbreaks in secondary schools in England is 822, while primary schools have recorded 732 clusters since records began.

Of those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the days analysed by PHE, 18.3% of them said they had visited a supermarket.

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