Covid: R number continues to rise, reaching 1.3-1.5 nationally

The R number for Covid cases across the UK has risen to between 1.3 and 1.5.

At the same point the week before, the lowest estimate of R stood at 1.2.

It comes as the growth rate for the UK, according to latest government data, slowed slightly to between +4% and +7% - a drop from +9% at the upper end of the estimation last week.

So what do the measures mean?

The R number is the average number of people an infected person can expect to pass the virus on to before any widespread immunity or attempts at immunisation are made.

For example, using this week's data, an R number between 1.3 and 1.5 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 13 and 15 other people.

The higher the number - the faster the virus progresses.

A covid-19 test centre. Credit: ITV News

When the R number is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially. If that number is below 1 it means the disease is shrinking among the population.

The growth rate refers to Covid transmissions and reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day.

How does the R number break down across NHS England regions?

  • East of England - 1.3-1.5

  • London - 1.1-1.4

  • Midlands - 1.2-1.5

  • North East and Yorkshire - 1.3-1.4

  • North West - 1.3-1.5

  • South East - 1.3-1.5

  • South West - 1.3-1.6

How does the growth rate down across NHS England regions?

  • East of England +4 to +8

  • London +2 to +5

  • Midlands +4 to +7

  • North East and Yorkshire +4 to +7

  • North West +5 to +7

  • South East +5 to +8

  • South West +6 to +10