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Forthcoming changes to the way we publish Coronavirus information

Updated: 7 April 2021

Public Health Wales is making some changes to the way we publish information on our website and data dashboard.

Starting on 17 April, we will no longer be publishing Coronavirus data or a daily statement on our website on Saturdays.  

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for Public Health Wales, said:  

“One of the statutory responsibilities for Public Health Wales is to provide timely and accurate information relating to communicable diseases. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have been attempting to do that in a fair, transparent and accurate manner. This has resulted in a large number of outputs that you will all be familiar with, including our daily dashboard summaries. 

Now we are at a stage in the pandemic response where the case rates have come down and therefore we are needing to review our outputs. So starting from 17 April we will be moving to 6 day reporting instead of 7 day reporting. 

We will not be publishing our daily dashboard figures or our updates on a Saturday. When we publish our reports on Sunday these will include the results and the data for the 24hour period up to 9am on the preceding Friday. The reports published on Mondays will then include the results and data for the 48hour for the period from 9am on the preceding Friday to 9am on the Sunday.  

We are doing this because case numbers are now low therefore any fluctuation day-to-day can give rise to potentially misleading interpretation and we want to be focusing more on the underlying trends rather than the day-to-day fluctuations. This can be especially pronounced where there are small numbers in local authority areas which have small population levels and can give rise to false alarms. 

Also we now have, in this particular phase of the pandemic, been focusing on other aspects of our surveillance - which is including surveillance for variants of concern, surveillance around vaccination uptake, vaccine monitoring for adverse effects etc. Therefore we feel that in the next phase of the pandemic our surveillance output will need to be tailored accordingly. 

If things go in the wrong direction and we find ourselves in a situation where case numbers are going up, we will return to 7 day reporting as neccesary.” 

The Public Health Wales dashboard is intended as a rapid reporting tool to provide the best and most up-to-date information, which is subject to ongoing data reconciliation.  Official statistics relating to Coronavirus in Wales are published by the Office for National Statistics.