Coronavirus: LGA responds to publication of Pillar 2 testing data

“The most important thing is that the public and those working on the frontline get a complete picture of the impact this virus has had in our neighbourhoods and in our communities, regardless of how the data is collected and where it is processed.


A glass vial with a red lid and a label saying '2019-NCOV'

Responding to the publication of Pillar 2 coronavirus testing data online, which is to be updated daily, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“It is good that there will be increased transparency on testing data, with the publication of Pillar 2 figures online. 

“However, the new data in the dashboard does not give councils the information they need to identify specifically where in their area outbreaks are occurring in order to work locally to contain them. We continue to call for access to this smaller area data.

“Councils also need to see improvements to the individual case data that public health officials have started to receive, including making the data available for all tests and not just positive ones, adding UPRNs (property reference numbers), and providing more information about workplaces.

“The most important thing is that the public and those working on the frontline get a complete picture of the impact this virus has had in our neighbourhoods and in our communities, regardless of how the data is collected and where it is processed.

“This will help councils to work with their communities, to manage potential outbreaks and prevent the spread of infection.”

Notes

Previously, Pillar 1 figures - which is data from tests carried out directly by councils and hospitals and processed in Public Health England laboratories – were made public on https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/. Pillar 2 data – which is from tests carried out at drive-through centres and home testing kits, which is then processed in commercial labs – has not until now been available on the same website.

Councils already have access to Pillar 2 data, but it is helpful for this to be hosted together publicly in one place.