UK coronavirus variant spread rapidly through care homes in England at the end of 2020


The UK coronavirus variant spread rapidly through care homes in England at the end of 2020, accounting for 60 per cent of positive cases analysed in two weeks, researchers have found.

In the South East, where the variant was most dominant, it accounted for 80 per cent of positive test results in care home staff and residents processed in the second week of December and analysed by researchers from University College London (UCL).

The researchers said the timing of infections suggested the new variant may have been passed from staff to residents, with positive cases among older people occurring later.

They studied 4,442 positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests undertaken by care home residents and staff and processed between 23 November and 13 December.

These were processed at the Lighthouse laboratory in Milton Keynes, one of the UK’s biggest coronavirus testing labs.



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