The publication of private coronavirus test results for the first time has raised the number of official cases in Brighton and Hove by more than 55%.
Yesterday afternoon, the official number of cases in the city since the outbreak started was 490 – but after private test results were included, the figure is now 764.
Previously, the Government only released what are known as Pillar 1 test results – those carried out by the NHS or PHE, most usually in hospitals and care home settings.
Until this week, these were also the only figures shared with local authorities, who are being asked to monitor outbreaks in their areas and possibly help enforce local lockdowns.
But last night, Pillar 2 test results – those carried out at privately run centres such as the one at the Amex Stadium – were published for the first time.
Even with these new figures, the number of people testing positive in Brighton and Hove each day is still very low, with only six positive tests since June 24 – and none at all on July 1, the most recent day for which figures are available.
This low rate means Brighton and Hove has the 17th lowest rate of cumulative coronavirus infections per head in the country, out of 150 upper tier local authorities.
According to the Government’s most recent Weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report, published yesterday, the city is also in the lowest tier of weekly coronavirus cases, along with nearly all of the south and south west of England, except Kent.
This week, Brighton and Hove City Council published its Covid outbreak plan, in which it said it intends to publish its own local coronavirus data dashboard.
The report said: “To combat the pandemic at a local level, it is vital that there is access to timely and robust data, including on testing, the number of cases, local outbreaks in places such as schools, hospitals and care homes, hospital activity and deaths.”
The plan also said almost one in three care homes – a total of 27 – have had Covid-19 outbreaks.
The latest available figures, published on 12 June, said there have been 150 Brighton and Hove residents who have died with Covid-19, based on any mention on their death certificate.
Of these, 80 (53%) deaths occurred in a hospital and 56 (37%) occurred in a care home.
There was a peak of deaths in the week ending 17 April with 26 Covid-19 deaths and 72 total deaths.
There has been a significantly higher death rate for males than for females for both Covid-19 and all deaths (Covid deaths: 90 per 100,000 for males and 48 per 100,000 for females in Brighton and Hove).