Changes to government reporting of coronavirus cases

This week we have seen a large increase in the number of coronavirus cases reported in Brighton & Hove, and also in local authorities across England.

I want to make it clear that this is not a sudden increase in the number of cases that have tested positive for Covid-19, but a change to the way cases are being reported by the government.

Previously the number of positive cases only included data from tests processed in NHS hospital and Public Health England labs (known as Pillar 1 testing).

The new, higher figure reflects all of the different locations that NHS tests are processed including commercial laboratories (known as Pillar 2 testing).

Going forward the number of confirmed cases each day will include this data.

It’s really important that this information is now published so that we have a fuller picture of the spread of the virus. This will help us to inform plans for our services and take any necessary local action.

The change in reporting of cases does not affect other data published nationally, for example information on deaths from Covid-19.

According to the newly published data we have had 764 positive cases in Brighton & Hove to date. This is a rate of 263 cases per 100,000 people compared with 436 per 100,000 for England and 368 per 100,000 for the South East.

We are ranked 134 out of 150 local authorities in England (where 1 is the highest rate).

Currently the rate of new cases is now much lower compared to April and May which is good news.

However, to prevent the risk of further outbreaks, it’s vital that all residents and businesses continue to play their part.

Everyone should maintain physical distancing of two metres if possible, wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings where advised and follow government guidance.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 then self-isolate immediately and get tested by going to or calling 119.

If you are contacted by 'NHS Test and Trace' and are a contact of a case, please follow their advice on self-isolating. 

This is the best way for us all to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our most vulnerable people and communities.

Alistair Hill
Director of Public Health 

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