Analysis and data around COVID-19

June 4, 2020 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

Current analysis and data around COVID-19

Scottish Government (SG), Public Health Scotland (PHS) and National Records of Scotland (NRS) have been working together to produce a range of information to provide insight into the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it is having in Scotland.

Scottish Government publish daily coronavirus data for Scotland (updated each day at 2pm) that shows number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, new reported deaths of people who have tested positive, number of tests carried out (and whether results were positive or negative), and numbers of people in hospital. It also show the number of NHS24 calls, Scottish Ambulance Service Attendances, the number of people delayed in hospital, and numbers of suspected COVID-19 cases in Care Homes.

National Records of Scotland are publishing weekly National Statistics on deaths involving coronavirus, and Public Health Scotland are releasing weekly data on the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases by age, sex and deprivation, admissions to ICU, daily number of COVID-19 related calls made to NHS24 and daily number of consultations with COVID-19 Community Hubs and Assessment Centres. PHS also produces daily and weekly open data, a daily cases and deaths (including excess deaths) dashboard, a weekly wider impacts dashboard, and has plans to publish different topic area COVID-19 reports.

Public Health Scotland’s COVID-19 publications are accessible here:  and all their forthcoming publications are accessible here:

Upcoming releases of analysis and data around COVID-19

During this public health pandemic, in line with guidance from the Office for Statistics Regulation, we are planning to publish a range of additional analysis on topics such as numbers of people identified as at high clinical risk of COVID-19 and advised to shield, numbers of tests carried out, causes of death, and other analysis of demographic characteristics. We know that there is a lot of demand for this data, and doing so will make sure that information relevant to the COVID-19 crisis is openly available to inform the ongoing public debate.

Some of the data being reported is management information (data that is gathered routinely by public bodies to inform their day to day operations). Management information produced by the Scottish Government is subject to voluntary application of the Code of Practice for Statistics, and our aim is to make sure it is published in a way that maintains trustworthiness, quality and value to users. For example, difficult choices may need to be made on whether data are of sufficient quality to support the use being made, and the professional analysts producing the analysis, will balance these risks to quality with making sure that they are published as quickly as possible.

When management information is used publicly to inform Parliament, the media and the public, it should be published in an accessible form, with appropriate explanations of context and sources.  It is important therefore that this information is released in a transparent way to ensure that it is equally available to all. As part of that transparency, we preannounce our plans for what management information is going to be published, and when, noting that these analyses are often complex and involve multiple data sources, and plans may by necessity be updated at short notice.

Our current plans for release of new information are:

  • Data on adult care homes and COVID-19 deaths reported to the Care Inspectorate: (released on Wednesday 3 June, weekly thereafter)
  • Data on number of people identified as at high clinical risk of COVID-19 and advised to shield: (confirmed for Thursday 4 June)
  • Blog Updated on 25/06/2020.  Public Health Scotland’s weekly report will include updated COVID-19 data including Test and Protect data. PHS will be releasing new data on their COVID-19 wider impacts dashboard (and this will be signposted to in their weekly report): Data on stillbirths and infant mortality (confirmed for  Wednesday 1 July). Other topic areas will follow in subsequent weeks: 
  • Blog Updated on 14/07/2020. Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 in Scotland Population-based seroprevalence surveillance (confirmed for Wednesday 15 July). The serology work stream aims to estimate the proportion of people who have antibodies to coronavirus (“seroprevalence”) in the general population of Scotland and to see if this changes over time. This will be released at 12:00. Please note: this release has been rescheduled from 9 July to allow for further data quality assurance.
  • Additional analysis will be published by National Records of Scotland for May covering deprivation, age-standardised rates, leading causes of death, pre-existing conditions, and urban rural breakdowns. There are also plans to include age-standardised death rates for Health Boards and local authorities, deaths by intermediate zone and (possibly) a breakdown by occupation: (on 17 June)
  • NRS are also currently testing whether data from the 2011 Census can be used to produce an analysis of death registration data by ethnicity.

Open data around COVID-19

Scottish Government, National Records of Scotland, and Public Health Scotland are all publishing open datasets on the COVID-19 pandemic for people to use and reuse. This helpful blog post gives more details of what is available and where to access these sources of open data on covid-19.

The Office for National Statistics have also published their plans for further analysis of COVID-19 data.

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