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Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic weekly update for Malvern Seniors

Click to read our observations on politics and world events

27th February 2022



Over the last two years we have been keeping an eye on the published government figures and monitoring the media to asses the level of risk for Seniors in the Malvern Hills district. We have also provided links to where further information could be found.

Now the worst of the epidemic is over our work is done, but we'll carry on for a few more weeks. Testing is being run down and we suspect the public are increasingly not recording the result of Lateral Flow tests so the daily case figures reported on the Coronavirus Dashboard can no longer be relied upon, apart from indicating direction of travel.

Half the deaths reported by PHE are now thought be elderly patients who die with COVID but not from it.

The ONS infection survey, COVID deaths reported by ONS and hospital bed occupancy are the best metrics for measuring the tail of the epidemic.

This page has been normally updated every Sunday between 1800 and 2400 hours GMT, but could be refreshed less frequently in future.

Note: the Coronavirus Dashboard is no longer updated at weekends, so data is based on figures published the preceding Friday; as a result some of this week's data covers a five day period.

Information about Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website:




How to get vaccinated

More about vaccinations

Number of cases

Number of deaths

Healthcare numbers

Forecast for the week ahead

Longer term outlook

Advice for seniors


Further information:

How to request a COVID test

About the Zoe COVID symptom study

About the NHS contact tracing app

About the NHS COVID pass

Summary of links

Menu of archived pages


For the majority in the UK it's time for life to return to normal, especially for those who are in reasonable health and have had three doses of the vaccine.

The situation could be more complex for the clinically vulnerable who might want to discuss their condition and precautions with either their GP or Specialist. For example it might be desirable to take a Lateral Flow test if feeling unwell and seek antiviral drugs at the earliest opportunity if tested COVID positive.

While the Omicron virus remains prevalent there is a good chance we will all catch COVID-19 at some time or other. It may make us feel very poorly and send us to bed for a few days; and it could take a week or two for us to recover but,  except for the very frail, we are unlikely to be hospitalised and our resistance to future infection should be bolstered. The main thing the government and employers will be keen to avoid is a lot of people, such as nurses, being off sick at the same time.

COVID hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are now said to be mostly occupied by those who are unvaccinated so make sure to get your booster jab if you have not already done so.

Click to view our advice

Lateral Flow Device kits which only require a nose swab can be used to test for COVID at home, for example before either going to an event or visiting friends. However be aware they are not 100% reliable and you could be infecting others before there is enough virus for the test to show positive.

Note: the government plans to discontinue the supply of free Lateral Flow Tests on 1st April.

A local summary of COVID data can be found on the Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard. Deaths are on page 7, and hospital beds on page 9.

Note: use the arrow <> buttons at the bottom of the Dashboard screen to move between pages.

Click for Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 news

Click for Simple Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

Click for the latest UK Government Coronavirus advice

How to get vaccinated

By now we hope all Seniors are fully vaccinated.

Looking more broadly the population of the Malvern Hills district is roughly 77,000 while the Coronavirus Dashboard reports 63,986 have been double vaccinated and 55,473 have had a booster or third dose.

Those aged 5 - 11 years can now be offered the vaccine and all those aged 16+ years can book a booster 3 months after their second dose.

Click NHS link - Who can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

For information about walk-in centres in Worcestershire go to the website:


and click the Vaccine Rollout tab at the top of the page.

Click for information about vaccination at the Three Counties Showground

Otherwise either see the NHS website for walk-in opening times and vaccine availability:


Or click this link for more information and to book a vaccination on-line:

Book a Coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Or talk to your GP.

Note: the immuno-compromised may be offered a third jab as part of their primary course, followed by a booster 3 months later.

More about vaccinations

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is highly infectious and still widespread in the community so all of us are likely to catch it at some time or other - it can make you 'very poorly' so it is essential to get your booster jab if you have not already had it.


 Our bar chart below shows the total number of:

  1. first jabs;

  2. second jabs;

  3. booster and third jabs;

  4. for comparison, the population of the UK broken down by age band.


COVID vaccination bar chart

Vaccinometer as of 20th February 2022

People are still coming forward to be vaccinated, but the rate is so slow you will see little change to this chart during 2022.

Vaccination statistics can be found on the Vaccination tab of the Coronavirus Dashboard.

Booster jabs

The government says everyone aged 18+ years has been offered a booster jab. To date about 49M have had two doses, and 38M booster doses have been administered, suggesting 11M still to boost in the UK; but those under 16 years are not yet eligible for a booster jab, so there are probably 6M people who have not had their booster.

Vaccinations Worldwide

A chart of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for worldwide statistics

Hint: click the country list on the left hand side of the screen to add or remove countries from the chart.

Orange triangleNumber of cases

There are three sources reporting the prevalence of COVID-19 in the UK.

  • The ONS which conducts a random survey by collecting nose and throat swabs from the public for PCR tests.

  • The ZOE COVID symptom study, whereby participating members of the public log their symptoms, tests and vaccines.

  • PHE data gathered from PCR testing and Lateral Flow Tests reported by the public.

ONS infection survey

The latest ONS infection survey suggests, though the direction of travel is downwards, the prevalence of COVID-19 is still very high with about 1 in 25 testing COVID positive in England.

ONS estimates that 2,096,200 people in England had COVID-19 in the week ending 19 February 2022.

Click for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 25 February 2022

Zoe COVID Symptom study

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study predicts 2,436,988 people  have symptomatic COVID in the UK and estimates 152,000 new cases per day compared to 162,000 five days ago a fall of 4%; while Tim Spector says in his weekly update that cases have fallen by 8% over a full week.

Numbers testing COVID positive (PHE)

The breakdown of those testing COVID positive by Worcestershire Lower Tier Local Authorities (LTLA) is shown in the following table, together with comparisons for Herefordshire, a more sparsely populated county, and the city of Leicester.

Note: the cumulative cases are copied from the 'Cases by area' (whole pandemic) data set of the Coronavirus Dashboard. The weekly increase is the difference between this week and last week's total.

Districts of Worcs Number testing positive Weekly increase Population
Bromsgrove 28,913 +332 98,529
Malvern Hills 15,805 +336 77,545
Redditch 25,315 +288 85,317
Worcester 28,265 +467 103,542
Wychavon 31,163 +591 126,240
Wyre Forest 26,372 +321 100,957
TOTAL 155,833 +2,335 592,130
County of Hereford 42,591 +639 195,000
Leicester (city of) 111,276 +774 400,000

Cumulative cases reported by PHE in Worcestershire to 27th February 2022

The main point to note is that the direction of travel continues downwards; actual infections could be four times the number testing COVID positive.

Note: the weekly increase is indicative; the seven day average by area, which varies day to day, is an alternative metric that can be found on the Coronavirus dashboard.

Cases in Malvern Hills by age group

Click for cases by specimen date age demographics in the Malvern Hills

Interactive maps

At the bottom of the Coronavirus Dashboard (daily update) page there is an Interactive Map which is coloured to show infection rates across the country.

Click for Interactive Map of COVID cases

Note: the Interactive Map works on desktop PCs but it's possible you may encounter difficulties using a tablet or smartphone.

Recent weekly COVID positive tests to 20th February are: North Malvern 51; Malvern Link 31; Pickersleigh 26; Barnards Green 28; Malvern Wells and Priory 34; Callow End and Hanley 36; Upton and Welland 40.

Another map can be found on the Zoe COVID Study website indicating extrapolated cases based on reports from those using the Zoe app.

Click for People with COVID (estimated from the Zoe app)

Number of deaths

Statistics on COVID deaths are published by Public Health England, The Office of National Statistics, and NHS England.

TrianglePHE figures

Public Health England reports there were 845 COVID (28) deaths in UK hospitals and care homes in the last week bringing the cumulative total to 161,224 (including deaths linked to repeat infections), with the daily average falling from 144 to 121 deaths per day.

In comparison averaged over recent years 1,700 people die daily from all causes.

UK COVID death rate

COVID-19 (28) death rate 1st to 25th February 2022 (source: PHE)

Click to view the UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Note: in half the cases recently reported by PHE it is thought COVID-19 may not be the underlying cause of death.

ONS figures

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) separately reports registered deaths in England and Wales where COVID-19 is mentioned somewhere on the death certificate. The ONS figures lag the PHE figures by 10 - 14 days and do not include Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Click for national ONS data on deaths (Excel spreadsheet)

The ONS figures are broken down by District providing a glimpse of where deaths are occurring. The provisional cumulative total of COVID related deaths in Worcestershire reported by the ONS up to 11th February (week 6 of 2022) is shown below.

Note: the numbers are from the ONS Death Registrations-Pivot table

Districts of
Week 6 Population
Bromsgrove 164 142 12 1 98,529
Malvern Hills 61 98 7 0 77,545
Redditch 108 109 9 3 85,317
Worcester 87 134 10 1 103,542
Wychavon 157 154 10 0 126,240
Wyre Forest 171 132 11 0 100,957
TOTAL 748 769 59 5 592,130

Provisional cumulative COVID-19 deaths registered by ONS to 11th February 2022

Note: summation of rows 9 to 339 of the ONS deaths Registrations-Pivot table.

There was 1 death in a care home in Bromsgrove; 1 death in a care home and 2 in hospital in Redditch; and 1 death in hospital in the city of Worcester.

In England and Wales 1,065 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the week to 11th February, 173 less than the week before, a fall of 14%. Of these 242 were in a care home, 92 at home, 28 in a hospice, 691 in hospital and 12 elsewhere.

Click for ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights: Deaths

NHS England figures for Worcestershire

The table below shows latest COVID deaths in Worcestershire hospitals reported by NHS England on 25th February 2022.

Worcestershire Cumulative deaths Past week
Acute hospitals 957 3
Care hospitals 68 0
TOTAL 1,025 3

Click for NHS COVID-19 total announced deaths

Click for Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

Risk of COVID-19 death by age band (Delta and Omicron)

NHS England provides an analysis of COVID-19 deaths in hospital in England and Wales by age band. Shown below is a snapshot of 3,971 recent deaths for the period 7th January 2022 to 3rd February 2022.

During this period deaths from Delta probably fell while those from Omicron increased. We do not know the exact mix, but there is an indication the risk of death is moving towards those aged 80+ years, who will generally be more frail and have co-morbidities.

Age band Number of COVID deaths % of deaths
0 - 19 11  0.3
20 - 39 43 1
40 - 59 287 7
60 - 79 1,404 35
80+ 2,226 56

Relative risk of COVID-19 death by age band

The latest figures show the risk of death has fallen slightly in those aged 40  to 79 years, rising in those aged 80+.

Those aged 60+ still account for more than 90% of deaths, but remember that due to vaccination the death rate as a proportion of new cases is five to ten times lower than in 2020.

One commentator on the TV news this week suggested the risk of the elderly dying from Omicron is now just double that of dying from the Flu (note: we haven't found evidence to support this).

Many historic deaths are likely to have been of the vaccine-hesitant, and those with co-morbidities such as Diabetes, the frail, and those that are immuno-compromised. Pregnant mothers, the overweight and deprived individuals with a poor diet are also said to be at increased risk.

An NHS leaflet offered to patients being admitted to hospital suggests we are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 infection if we have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Age over 70 or Male over 50;

  • Lung problems (including asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, bronchiectasis;

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Liver disease (eg hepatitis, cirrhosis)

  • Brain or nerve problems (eg Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy)

  • You have a condition that increases the risk of infection

  • Take medication that affects the immune system, (eg steroids)

  • Very obese (BMI over 40)

  • Pregnancy

See link to the latest UKHSA vaccine surveillance report below which points to an analysis covering a mix of Delta and Omicron cases that also highlights that many deaths are now of vaccinated individuals by virtue of a large proportion of the population being vaccinated and the vaccines not giving 100% protection.

Click for UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 5, 3rd February 2022

triangleHealthcare numbers

The UK government Coronavirus Dashboard includes important information about healthcare statistics and NHS bed occupancy.

Hospital COVID cases (UK) Number Change since last week
Patients currently in hospital 10,767 -788
Patients on ventilation 289 -42
Patients admitted daily 1,169 -111

Headline summary of patients in hospital reported on 25th February 2022

The trend in UK COVID-19 bed occupancy continues slowly downwards.

Bed numbers by region in England

Tabulated figures for COVID bed occupancy in England can be found on the NHS England website and these give a good indication of direction of travel:

Click for NHS England COVID-19 Hospital bed Activity statistics

Note: see the latest Daily Admissions and Beds spreadsheets, then look for all COVID beds.

Region 18th February 2022 25th February 2022 15th January 2021
London 1,899 1,661 7,811
Midlands 1,727 1,568 5,890

Comparison of All beds COVID data for London and Midlands

In the last week the number of COVID-19 General and Acute beds fell by  about 9% in London and the Midlands.

For the same period, COVID beds in England fell from 9,258  to 8,498 a drop of 8%.

For comparison, the number of beds occupied during the peak of the epidemic in January 2021 is shown in red in the right hand column of the table.

Green triangleWorcestershire hospital beds

Tabulated figures for bed occupancy in Worcestershire Acute and Care hospitals can also be found on the NHS England website.

There were 91 patients in hospital with Coronavirus on 27th February 2022 of which 4 were ventilated beds. Roughly 34% of the peak experienced last January and a fall of 7 on last week.

Some of these may be patients testing COVID positive after admission to hospital for other reasons.

Note: Healthcare statistics can be found on the Healthcare tab of the UK Coronavirus Dashboard. At the top of the page where it says Healthcare in United Kingdom, click the drop down arrow to select Area Type as NHS Trusts, and Area Name as Worcester Acute Hospitals.

Click to view Worcester healthcare figures


Click for Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

Deaths in Malvern Hills

Between 1 February 2022 and 25 February 2022, there has been 1 death within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

Forecast for the week ahead

We are no longer forecasting new cases per day as the testing regime is being run down and the Zoe COVID symptom study provides a better estimate of direction of travel.

The number of UK COVID (28) deaths (as recorded by PHE) may increase by up to 800 towards 162,050 during the 7 days ending 6th March 2022, with the average daily death rate hovering around 120.

In the county of Worcestershire, assuming a 0.1% death rate, the 2,335 new cases this week should translate to no more than 3 deaths per week in the second half of March.

UK daily hospital admissions might fall towards 1,075; based on ZOE reporting 8% fewer cases last week.

Longer term outlook

It's difficult to forecast exactly what happens next. We imagine that we are about to enter the endemic stage of the disease with a continuing background level of infection, easing up in the summer and getting worse in  the winter, modulated by new variants to which we may have less protection. We anticipate more deaths than from Flu in the elderly population and cases of Long COVID causing fatigue in some individuals for many months. Otherwise, we expect the majority of the UK population to be little affected by COVID-19.

It is now a personal decision whether or not to take precautions depending on our own situation and assessment of risk. Some may think it best to ignore protective measures in order quickly to build up herd immunity through natural infection, while the clinically vulnerable might be more cautious.

See also summary of links section for UCL and IHME modelling projections.

The UCL projection is that the daily death rate will fall to a minimum of 100 in March and could remain above 100 for the next 3 months, adding 6% to the natural death rate.

Advice for SeniorsCOVID risk medium

We judge the risk of exposure to the Omicron variant still to be HIGH; see our riskometer opposite.

How this affects you will depend on your vaccination status. UKHSA have said those who have had two doses plus a booster have roughly a 12% chance of being hospitalised compared to the unvaccinated.

Two doses give little or no protection.

6M people remain unvaccinated in the UK and as many again have not had their booster; for many time is running out and perhaps up to 6,000 will die unnecessarily in coming weeks.

Recently there have been no more than 5 COVID related deaths per week in Worcestershire which has a population of 600,000 so we currently judge the risk of death for triple vaccinated Seniors to be fairly LOW while the risk of Long COVID might be MODERATE .

It is likely that, despite being triple vaccinated, all Seniors will at some time become ill with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Some may reasonably think there is little point in taking precautions, such as the wearing of facemasks, being happy to accept the risk of infection before the protection of the vaccines wanes. However for those hoping to avoid infection the simple safeguards to remember are to:

  • book your booster dose as soon as you are contacted by either your GP or the NHS; between five days and two weeks after the booster most people should be well protected from severe illness;

  • don't forget your flu jab;

  • look out for a second booster programme for those aged 75+ years in the spring;

  • wash your HANDS thoroughly, using soap and hot water, for 20 seconds, including after handling deliveries to your home, to kill virus picked up from contaminated surfaces (see note 1);

  • ideally wear either a well fitting FACE covering, FFP2, or N95 face mask when unavoidably near other people for example when in shops, health-care settings, and when using public transport;

  • SPACE at least 2 metres from people you don't feel safe with (see note 2);

  • preferably socialise with friends and other households outdoors in the FRESH AIR else, if you are indoors, either ventilate by keeping windows open as far as is practicable or put a HEPA air purifier in the room;

  • consider avoiding crowded indoor settings and minimise TIME near strangers;

  • self-isolate for 5 days if you unwell with cold or flu like symptoms; according to the Zoe COVID Study the current top five symptoms in order of prevalence are runny nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue, and sneezing which are often hard to distinguish from a common cold - you might alternatively suffer from fever with a temperature of up to 103 deg F, and a slight reduction in sense of taste;

  • if available, consider taking a Lateral Flow test before visiting others (see note 3);

  • respect others and give them space.


1) Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face to avoid transferring virus from contaminated surfaces to your mouth, eyes and nose. If outdoors use an alcohol based hand gel.

2) Two metres is further than you think - roughly an arm and a walking stick away.

3) The COVID Symptom Study people suggest that if you have symptoms of a common cold there is a fair chance you might have COVID.



This week

On Monday the Prime Minister gave a press conference on 'our' plan to live with COVID-19.

Click for PM statement at Covid press conference: 21 February 2022

Click for YouTube video of COVID-19 press conference (21 February 2022)

Hint: fast forward to video start at 8 minutes.

Bullet points for England:-

  • COVID legal restrictions to cease on Thursday 24th February 2022
  • Lateral Flow tests will cease to be free after 1st April 2022
  • Booster shots planned for those aged 75+ in the Spring

Dr John Campbell appears to suggest that the triple vaccinated might as well catch COVID now, that is before immunity wanes significantly; perhaps taking precautions just delays the inevitable.

Following the end of the Winter Olympics in China Putin orders Russian troops into the rebel held districts of East Ukraine.

On Tuesday the UK Parliament debated the crisis in Ukraine.

The river Severn is high and flooding in Shrewsbury.

On Thursday Russia began an all arms invasion of Ukraine.

Suddenly COVID and Partygate disappear from the headlines.

COVID video updates

The usual charts can be found in the Zoe COVID Study and Independent SAGE weekly updates.

Click to watch Zoe COVID Symptom Study update on 24th February 2022 presented by Tim Spector (worth watching).

Click to watch Independent SAGE update on 25th February 2022

Independent SAGE discusses the importance of the Public Inquiry into Covid-19 focusing on education, with special guests, Dr Deepti Gurdasani, Kevin Courtney and Claudia Hanson. Hosted by Professor Jim Al-Khalili.


Some groups have started meeting again in person. Attendance is gradually rising.

Overseas travel

Refer to current government advice, and prepare contingency plans in case circumstances change in the country you are visiting.

Australia is opening up.

List of vaccines

Here is the updated list of COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the UK. It looks as though for now the government has settled on Pfizer as first choice with Moderna second and Astrazeneca held in reserve.

Valneva has been cancelled, and approval has not yet been sought for using Novavax in the EU and US although approval has been sought for use in third world countries.

For two doses plus boosters, only about 200M doses will be needed in 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 for the population of the UK. The government has now signed deals to buy 114 million additional doses of the Pfizer (54M) and Moderna (60M) vaccines to use in 2022 and 2023.

Click for press announcement - Government agrees new deals to future proof vaccine rollout in light of new variant

The press announcement goes on to say that 60M doses of Novavax vaccine are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 7.5M doses of GSK/Sanofi, so there seems no intention to cancel these late arrivals.

Click for Guardian report - Novavax expected to be become fourth Covid vaccine available in UK

COVID-19 vaccine Doses ordered (million) Status
Pfizer BioNTech, two dose, -70 deg C 40+60+35 Approved, deliveries continuing, made in Belgium (EU). An additional 60M doses have been ordered for booster shots for the most vulnerable in the autumn. A further 35M doses were ordered in August 2021 for delivery in 2022.
Astrazeneca, two dose, fridge 100 Approved for those aged 30+ years; deliveries continuing. Batches made in UK, Belgium and India.
Moderna, two dose, -20 deg C 7+10 Approved. First deliveries to Wales and Scotland 7th April 2021 then England 13th April; mainly for those aged under 50 years awaiting vaccination.
Valneva, two dose 60+40
A jab from French company Valneva will be made in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland. Order cancelled September 2021. Delivery had been expected to start in second half of 2021.
Janssen, single dose 20 Approved, a jab from Belgian firm Janssen, owned by Johnson and Johnson; UK approval 28th May. Order reduced from 30 to 20M.
Nuvaxovid 60 A jab manufactured by US firm Novavax being made in Stockton-on-Tees UK. Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) contracted to fill and package vials. Approved by MHRA 3rd Feb 2022. JCVI to advise how vaccine will be used.
GSK Sanofi 60 Some delay due to adjusting the formula to give better protection to the elderly; expected approval and delivery of 7.5M doses in 2022.
Curevac 50 ? Contract placed with German company Feb 2021. Possible source of new variant vaccine; disappointing trial results have resulted in the company working on a second generation vaccine. Future uncertain.

Table of vaccines ordered by the UK government


TrianglePresent rate of detected new cases

The average rate of COVID positive tests per 100,000 population per week copied from the Coronavirus Dashboard is shown in the following table.

Region  Case rate
(last week)
Case rate
(this week)
England  477 415
Wales  266 209
Scotland  787 790
Northern Ireland  1,028 928
London (region) 443 394
Worcestershire  572 497
Malvern Hills  608 527

Seven day Case Rate per 100,000 reported 25th February 2022

Apart from Scotland, cases are down a little.

Note: actual infections could be 4 times the number of positive tests.

 As a yardstick we suggest a figure of below 10 can be considered LOW, so there is still a long way to go.

Back to top


How to request a COVID test

Note: much of this section is largely historical. Now the population is vaccinated the government no longer sees testing as important. The availability of PCR tests is being cut back to save money and Lateral Flow tests will no longer be free after 1st April 2022.

In order to protect others it is important to get a test and self isolate if you feel unwell with either classic COVID symptoms, or cold and flu like symptoms which can be caused by the Omicron variant.;

There are now two types of test you can get. The more accurate PCR test involving a throat and nose swab which is sent to a laboratory for analysis and the Lateral Flow Device test.

Click for government guidance on types of tests

Getting a PCR test

Click the link below for information on how to get a free NHS PCR test if you think you may have Coronavirus:


We feel the website discourages people from seeking a PCR test who don't have all the classic symptoms. If you feel strongly enough, press on answering the questions so as to get your PCR test.

In case of difficulty you can try phoning the Coronavirus contact centre by dialing 119.

Alternatively settle for a 'Nasal swab' Lateral Flow Device test in the comfort of your own home (see below).

According to Google there is a 'drive through' COVID testing station at County Hall near the Countrywide Centre, and a 'walk through' at Pershore.

There is also a COVID testing station at the Worcester Royal Hospital for screening patients before admission.

If you cannot get to these you can order a home PCR test kit.

If you test COVID positive you should ideally self-isolate for 5 days or until you feel better.

Getting a Lateral Flow Device test

Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD) can either be booked at Claremont Pharmacy in Barnards Green, Evans Pharmacy in Malvern Link, or taken at home.

The test is intended to screen those who do not show the classic symptoms of COVID-19 and provides a means to check you are 'virus free' at home - either before visiting an elderly person, going to work, or attending a crowded event.  It also provides a means to check whether or not you have Coronavirus if you are feeling poorly with cold and flu like symptoms.

COVID Lateral Flow DeviceYou can collect home test kits, for example packaged as the COVID-19 Self-Test (Rapid Antigen Test) in boxes of 7 tests, from Malvern library, the Co-op, and most pharmacies such as Boots and Murrays in Church Street, Claremont House and Lloyds in Barnards Green, Murrays at Prospect View, Evans and Murrays in Malvern Link, and Boots and Morrisons on the Enigma Retail Park.

If collecting from a pharmacy you now have to go on-line and get a collection code to present to the pharmacy in order to obtain a pack of 7 tests. This involves giving NHS Test and Trace your email and/or mobile phone number and address.


The LFD now comes in two versions.

  • The Throat and Nose Swab kit;

  • The Nose Swab only kit (Orient Gene, Acon Flowflex and MP Biomedicals).

 (Lateral Flow Device cassette shown on the right).

ACON Flowflex comes in a blue and white pack.

Orient Gene comes in a green and white pack.

MP Biomedicals come in a blue, white and grey pack.

Click for instructions for using the LFD test kits

COVID lateral flow test leaflet

Leaflet at Boots the Chemist

The new Nasal swab test kit which only requires a nose swab is the easiest to use and the best one to get but it is not yet widely available. On 10th November we found Boots in Church Street and Malvern Library were still supplying the old Throat and Nose kit; Murrays in Church Street had the new kits and Malvern library thought the library in St John's Worcester might have the new kits.

Click for NHS information on Rapid Lateral Flow Test sites and collection sites in Malvern

Hint: to see the list, click on 'filter' and then 'pick up sites for test kits' checkbox.

Click for WCC info about Lateral Flow Tests

In our opinion, many Seniors will find the classic Throat and Nose Swab home test kit difficult to use as you need to rub the tonsils or thereabouts with the swab-stick without touching the tongue, teeth, cheeks, gums or any other surface before swabbing the nose. Doing this standing in front of a mirror on your own without gagging while holding a torch in the other hand, won't be easy unless you have a steady hand and good eyesight.

The Nose Swab kit is by far the best one for testing yourself at home.

If you test COVID positive you should isolate and take a more accurate PCR test to confirm the result.

NHS Test and Trace want people to report the result of their home LFD tests within 24 hours at:


This helps NHS Test and Trace monitor where the issue of the free LFD tests is proving most effective and the spread of the disease.

However, it's tedious to enter your Lateral Flow Test result on the government website and we imagine many people now don't bother.

COVID Lateral Flow test kit

Nose swab home test kit obtained from Murrays


About the COVID Symptom Study app (Zoe)

COVID app logoYou can help others by downloading the COVID Symptom Study app onto your smart-phone or Ipad and reporting how you feel either daily, or as you are able. Note there is no desktop PC version for Windows.

For further details click this link: https://covid19.joinzoe.com

The Zoe app, which is easy to use, allows you to report whether or not you are feeling well and if you have had a test for COVID. This helps Kings College London monitor the spread and symptoms of the disease and give advice to government. This is an important source of data as we progress through the EXIT wave.

There are questions allowing you to enter your vaccine type and whether any side effects; this now includes boosters and flu jabs.


About the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app (England)

Release of the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for Apple and Android smartphones was announced on 24th September 2020.

Click this link for NHS Coronavirus app information

If you have been close to someone who has tested COVID positive, your smart-phone will be pinged and you may be advised to self-isolate

Note: isolation is no longer a legal requirement.


About the NHS app and Covid Pass

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details and/or test results. This is your COVID-19 status. You may be asked to show your pass to travel abroad

You will need the NHS app installed on your smartphone and be registered with the NHS in order to display your vaccination status.

Note: this is not the NHS COVID-19 app

If you don't have a smartphone you should be able to login from a PC to obtain a printed copy.

Click to login from a desktop computer or laptop

You can use your NHS login when signing in to report the result of Lateral Flow Device tests taken at home; this has to be done within 24 hours.



About COVID symptoms

Article about the effects of Coronavirus on the human body


Reporting and how to obtain a test

How to get a test


About joining the Zoe COVID Symptom Study:




UK government Coronavirus guidance

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 for England

UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) website


COVID Alert states

Guidance on UK COVID-19 alert level methodology: an overview

COVID-19 Alert Level lowered to 3 on 10th May 2021



Guidance on tiers: what you need to know

Government postcode checker to find tier for other areas



UK government COVID-19: Omicron daily overview

UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Coronavirus Dashboard Interactive Map

ONS data on deaths in England and Wales (Excel spreadsheet)

NHS England COVID-19 Daily Deaths

NHS England COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

NHS England vaccination statistics

Reports on COVID intensive care beds - see intensive care national audit and research centre (ICNARC) website

Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard

Worcestershire COVID-19 Vaccinations Dashboard


HSA COVID-19 vaccine weekly surveillance reports

Information about NHS hospital bed numbers: past, present, future


A glimpse of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for chart showing % vaccinated



A forecast of the progression of the COVID-19 epidemic can be found on a University College London (UCL) website.

Click for UCL Long-term forecasting of the COVID-19 epidemic

A projection of the future COVID-19 death toll and daily deaths can be found on The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website. 

Click for IHME projection of COVID-19 deaths



Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights by ONS

A live roundup of the latest data and trends about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the ONS and other sources.


The bigger picture

Worldometer summary of coronavirus cases worldwide

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control info


World Health Organisation info



Window on the USA

Centre for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC COVID Data Tracker

Find maps and charts tracking cases, deaths, and trends of COVID-19 in the United States.

American Association of Retired People (AARP)





Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 information:


Here you will find a useful link,

'Website: Number of new cases by date in Worcestershire'

which displays interesting COVID charts and statistics for Worcestershire

COVID Outbreak Control Plan



Spanish Flu

Dr Jeff Kildea's commentary about the 1919 outbreak of Spanish Flu in Australia


Views of Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health

Follow Martin McKee on Twitter


SAGE membership

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)


Scottish government:

Link to Scottish Government website

Link to Postcode checker for COVID restrictions by protection level in areas of Scotland


Welsh Government:

Guidance on COVID alert levels in Wales


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The interpretations and opinions expressed are our own