Reinfections are recorded every day on the COVID-19 dashboard from January 31, 2022; however, earlier reinfections are not included under new cases.
Before, the reinfections were only counted once in cumulative totals under the daily updates of new COVID-19 cases. The latest revision shall show possible reinfections in its COVID-19 dashboard. This would be for the first time.
A possible reinfection episode is a separate episode when another positive specimen more than 90 days after the last one is recorded. The government explains that "Positive tests for any variant of COVID-19 within a 90-day time period are now considered part of the same case episode, and positive tests outside those parameters are now considered as reinfection episodes."
This information will also be displayed in the COVID-19 statistics on the U.K.'s surveillance dashboard before they were deleted as duplicates.
The rate of reinfections rose after the Omicron wave. Professor Steven Riley, UKHSA's Director General of Data and Analytics, said, "Reinfection remained at very low levels until the start of the Omicron wave."
The statistics under the Government of U.K. reported that as of January 31, under the updated figures for England, there are 588,114(4.0 percent) reinfections added to the total case number for England, and there are 14,845,382 episodes of infection since the start of the pandemic.
Until November 16, 2021, the reinfection rates averaged around 1.4 percent of cases under the new data. Following the rise in cases due to the Omicron variant, reinfections rose, representing about 10 percent episodes per day. Northern Ireland records 22,913 reinfections(4.2 percent), with a total number of infection episodes at 542,855.
Office for National Statistics(ONS) defines reinfection as when an "at-risk" individual has a positive test. The report conveys that an individual is classified as "at-risk," reflecting that a test could be considered reinfection if it turns out to be positive. Following the first time, it has been defined reinfection is regarded as an "at-risk period."
According to the analysis between July 2, 2020, and January 9, 2022, 26,528 participants were "at-risk" of reinfection, and 917 reinfections were identified.
U.K. agencies have updated the surveillance data to count infection episodes, including reinfection episodes. It is also stated that data from England and Northern Ireland have been added with reinfection; data from Scotland and Wales will be added in the coming days.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.