Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, Northern Ireland: Headline Results 2 February 2022

Date published: 02 February 2022

The Department of Health today published headline results from its COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS). The findings set out in this report relate to modelled positivity estimates for NI for the week up to the 29 January 2022. 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.

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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

Temporary publication of early results from the COVID-19 Infection Survey

During this period of high infections, we have decided to publish our headline results two days early. This means that the latest estimates on infection levels are available at their earliest opportunity and further breakdowns for the same period and a longer data time series will be published on Fridays. These early estimates are provisional and are subject to change as we receive more data, but they have undergone sufficient quality assurance to ensure that they are based upon an acceptable number of test results received up to the end of the reference week. This week, we are publishing estimates for the week ending 29 January 2022.

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 (23 January – 29 January 2022), it is estimated that 136,300 people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 118,200 to 155,200). 
  • this equates to 7.43% of the population (95% credible interval: 6.44% to 8.46%) or around 1 in 15 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 15 to 1 in 10).
  • modelling suggests the percentage of people testing positive in Northern Ireland increased in the week ending 29 January 2022.

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 communal establishments.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Further information about quality and methodology associated with the survey can be found on the ONS website.
  7. This publication is available online.
  8. Additional information is available from:

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

Telephone:          028 9052 2340         E-mail:

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