Scotland is now testing at around twice the rate in Wales and perhaps in England too. It’s ‘perhaps in England‘ because the authorities there have stopped publishing the figures. I wonder why that could be when it’s a ‘world-beating system’ according to the PM?
Scotland’s percentage of tests positive is significantly lower than elsewhere in the UK. Why does this matter?
From the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health:
The percent positive is exactly what it sounds like: the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100%. The percent positive (sometimes called the “percent positive rate” or “positivity rate”) helps public health officials answer questions such as:
- What is the current level of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) transmission in the community?
- Are we doing enough testing for the amount of people who are getting infected?
The percent positive will be high if the number of positive tests is too high, or if the number of total tests is too low. A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.
The percent positive is a critical measure because it gives us an indication how widespread infection is in the area where the testing is occurring—and whether levels of testing are keeping up with levels of disease transmission.