The Wokingham Paper

Coronavirus: ‘Make the data available for all tests and not just positive ones’

Troops from the 102 Logistic Brigade and 16 Signal Regiment learning how to operate a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) earlier this year.

THE LOCAL Government Association is calling for Public Health England to publish data on all coronavirus tests — not just the positive ones.

Data for Pillar Two testing is now being included in the number of coronavirus cases.

This data is collected from commercial virus testing. This includes tests carried out at drive-through centres and home testing kits, which are processed in commercial labs.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “It is good that there will be increased transparency on testing data, with the publication of Pillar Two figures online. 

“However, the new data in the dashboard does not give councils the information they need to identify specifically where in their area outbreaks are occurring in order to work locally to contain them. We continue to call for access to this smaller area data.

“Councils also need to see improvements to the individual case data that public health officials have started to receive, including making the data available for all tests and not just positive ones, adding UPRNs — property reference numbers — and providing more information about workplaces.

“The most important thing is that the public and those working on the frontline get a complete picture of the impact this virus has had in our neighbourhoods and in our communities, regardless of how the data is collected and where it is processed.

“This will help councils to work with their communities, to manage potential outbreaks and prevent the spread of infection.”

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