Coronavirus (Covid-19) Infection Survey Northern Ireland: 8 - 14 November 2020

Date published: 20 November 2020

The Department of Health today published the next in the series of weekly results from its COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS).

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The findings set out in this report relate to modelled positivity estimates for NI for the week up to the 14 November 2020. The aims of the CIS are to estimate how many people have the infection and the number of new cases that occur over a given time as well as estimating how many people have developed antibodies to COVID-19.

The survey over time will help track the extent of infection and transmission of COVID-19 among people in the community population (those in private residences).

Key Findings

Due to the relatively small number of tests and positive swab results within our sample, credible intervals are wide and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.

  • During the most recent week of the study (8 November – 14 November), it is estimated that 13,600 people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 8,800 to 19,700).
  • This equates to 0.74% of the population (95% credible interval: 0.48% to 1.07%) or around 1 in 135 people (95% credible interval 1 in 210 to 1 in 95).
  • This is based on statistical modelling of the trend in rates of positive nose and throat swab results. Infection rates in Northern Ireland seemed to have peaked around the middle of October, with the proportion testing positive decreasing over the most recent 4 weeks.
  • In the latest six-week period, there were 12,796 swab tests taken in total from 5,667 participants. Of these, 87 participants tested positive from 62 different households.
  • In the latest two-week period, of the 3,894 participants in the study, 34 tested positive from 26 households.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Health has been working along with the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and the Office for National Statistics (and its various survey partners) to extend the COVID-19 Infection Survey to Northern Ireland. Fieldwork in Northern Ireland began on 27 July 2020.
  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision. Due to relatively small number of tests and positive swab tests within the sample, credible intervals are wide and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.
  1. These statistics refer to infections reported in the community (i.e. private households). These figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.
  1. Estimates of the total national proportion of the population testing positive for COVID-19 are adjusted to be representative of the population of Northern Ireland that live in private residential households in terms of age, sex and region.
  1. Weekly reports are to be published with findings from the COVID-19 Infection survey. It is anticipated that new and further analyses will be added to the weekly reports over time.
  1. Further information about quality and methodology associated with the survey can be found on the ONS website.
  1. This publication is available on the Department's website.
  2. Additional information is available from:      

    Information Analysis Directorate
    Department of Health
    Annex 2, Castle Buildings
    Stormont
    Belfast BT4 3SQ

    Telephone: 028 9052 2340
  3. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk
  4. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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