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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey Pilot Northern Ireland | 6-19 September 2020

The Department of Health today published the first weekly results from its #COVID19 Infection Survey (CIS). The initial findings set out in this report relate to the most recent 2 weeks of the study up to the 19 September 2020.

Further analyses will be added to subsequent reports over the coming weeks. 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 relatively small number of tests within our sample, confidence intervals are wide and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.

  • During the most recent 2 weeks of the study (6 to19 September) it was estimated that 0.35% of people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% confidence interval: 0.11% – 0.84%). This equates to around 1 in 300 people (95% confidence interval: 1 in 900 to 1 in 100).

  • In the last 6 weeks, of the 3,998 participants included in this analysis, 9 tested positive from 8 households.

  • In the last 2 weeks, of the 1,966 participants included in this analysis, 5 tested positive from 4 households.

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 27th July 2020. This publication presents the first results for NI from the survey. 2. All results are provisional and subject to revision. Due to relatively small number of positive tests within the sample, confidence 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 institutional settings. 4. Estimates of the total national proportion of the population testing positive for COVID-19 are weighted to be representative of the population of Northern Ireland that live in private-residential households in terms of age (grouped), sex, region, and household size. 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 : www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation#covid-19-infection-survey(external link opens in a new window / tab) 7. This publication is available online at: www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/covid-19-infection-survey