The UK’s National Health Service has received new guidelines from the government on how to record COVID-19 cases, separating people who are symptomatic from those who just test positive for SARS-CoV-2.

From the beginning of the pandemic, the NHS (and most countries in the world) have defined a “COVID-19 case” as anyone who tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of whether or not they are sick.

This change to the way hospitals collect data will reduce the overall number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals as until now data from hospitals included all patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

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