Yesterday Sky News and the Huffington Post and several other outlets all flared up near-identical headlines warning that …
Covid Infections Increase For First Time In Two Months
The HuffPo goes on to explain in more detail…
The jump is thought to have been caused by increases in cases compatible with the original Omicron variant BA.1 and the newer variants BA.4 and BA.5, according to the Office for National Statistics.
All the articles cite the Office of National Statistics (ONS) talking about Omicron and seem to consider this an explanation.
None of them mentions the fact the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) literally changed the definition of a Covid “case” back in February, making it almost inevitable cases would go up.
It’s all detailed in this post from the UKHSA site, helpfully titled “Changing the COVID-19 Case Definition”.
The article explains that the UKHSA will be moving on from the traditional meaning of “cases”, and instead counting what they call “case episodes”.
Meaning that, up until now, one person repeatedly testing positive for “Covid” throughout the pandemic was considered one “case”:
Until now, COVID-19 cases have been reported at the individual level: every positive test taken and reported by one person has been considered part of a single caserecord, initiated by their first positive test.
But from now on different positive tests of the same person will be considered separate “cases” as long as they are 90 days apart:
Positive test results that are 90 days apart (regardless of negative tests in between) will be considered as a separate episode of infection, and therefore the person is counted as a case more than once.
Read more: The UK changed the definition of ‘case’ to INCREASE ‘Covid’ numbers. Again