Modifications to the best way we report on COVID-19 deaths


We’re altering the best way we current COVID-19 dying statistics on the GOV.UK COVID-19 Dashboard. “Deaths with COVID-19 on the dying registration” will exchange “deaths inside 28 days of a constructive take a look at” as the first reported COVID-19 dying statistic. 

This weblog explains why we’re making adjustments to how we current information on COVID-19 deaths. 

How can we rely COVID-19 deaths?

We have now counted deaths following COVID-19 an infection because the begin of the pandemic. Monitoring how many individuals die following an infection with a lately emerged virus tells us how extreme it’s. It may well additionally assist us perceive the place the illness is spreading and who’s worst affected by it.  

We defined previously how COVID-19 deaths are recorded in the UK. There are two predominant experiences: 

  • Deaths inside 28 days of a reported COVID-19 an infection (deaths with COVID) 
  • Demise the place COVID-19 is talked about on the dying registration (deaths from COVID) 

We began counting deaths with COVID-19 for speedy pandemic monitoring when there was a must publish figures every day to tell selections about our pandemic response. This data will be collected far more shortly than dying registrations, so it can be utilized as an early warning sign of adjustments in developments to assist public well being actions. By utilizing this measure, we have been capable of minimize the reporting lag related to dying registrations from 11 days to 2-3 days. The deaths with COVID-19 metric has been used because the main dying indicator on the dashboard till 26 January 2023. 

Demise registrations are collated by the Workplace of Nationwide Statistics (ONS) and symbolize individuals who die from COVID-19, as determined by the clinician registering the dying. This measure offers a much less speedy however extra correct measure of the burden of the illness over time and has been revealed on the dashboard since 2020.

What has modified?

We have now been monitoring how intently these two measurements align to ensure that the quantity of people that die with COVID-19 is an in depth approximation of the quantity of people that die from COVID-19. All through 2020 and 2021, between 80% and 90% of deaths reported inside 28 days of a constructive COVID-19 take a look at additionally had COVID-19 talked about on the dying registration. 

Beginning in early 2022 nevertheless, there was a marked divergence within the two measures, and this proportion dropped under 50% concordance in the summertime of 2022 and has stayed under 50% this winter.  This modification corresponded with the emergence of the Omicron variant and rising ranges of immunity from vaccination and former an infection, leading to safety from extreme sickness.  

Extra detailed comparability of two COVID-19 mortality measures will be discovered here. 

With excessive ranges of immunity within the inhabitants and COVID-19 persevering with to flow into in the neighborhood, it’s not unusual for individuals who die of different causes to have a COVID-19 an infection recorded at or across the time of dying. These deaths might have been reported within the 28-day measure, however not counted within the dying registrations as a result of their dying was not judged to be associated to their COVID-19 an infection.   

The divergence between the 2 measures has been noticed over a enough time interval for us to be assured that it’s not a brief impact, for instance because of adjustments in testing practices. Consequently, we advocate that deaths inside 28 days of a constructive take a look at ought to now not be interpreted because the main indicator of deaths because of COVID-19 and that dying registrations needs to be used as an alternative. 

Share of deaths inside 28 days of a constructivetake a look at the place COVID-19 was subsequently talked about on the dying registration: March 2020 to September 2022 

Graph showing Percentage of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test where COVID-19 was subsequently mentioned on the death registration: March 2020 to September 2022

How we’re adjusting our statistics

While you open the COVID-19 dashboard, you’ll now see that “dying registrations” has changed “deaths inside 28 days of a constructive COVID-19 take a look at”  because the headline measure of COVID-19 deaths.  

The variety of deaths inside 28 days of COVID-19 will proceed to be revealed as a subsidiary measure on the GOV.UK Dashboard to assist customers throughout this modification by permitting comparability of each measures. We will even proceed to publish this measure within the Nationwide COVID-19 and Flu surveillance report. All information will stay out there for public use for transparency. 

What subsequent?

At UKHSA, we preserve our statistics underneath continuous overview to make sure that they continue to be related and that we’re publishing the most effective measure out there.  

As we attain a brand new part of the pandemic, there’s much less want for a real-time deaths measure and as an alternative we are able to concentrate on dying registrations as crucial indicator for deaths related to COVID-19.

We’re persevering with to develop the COVID-19 dashboard and the COVID-19 surveillance statistics to make sure they continue to be related, helpful and according to greatest follow. We’ll preserve you posted as we progress. 

We welcome your suggestions on these adjustments, our COVID-19 statistics or our statistical merchandise extra typically. Please get in contact at or 

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles