COVID-19 | a national second wave or a regional surge?

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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the latest weekly release of data shows total deaths have dipped below the equivalent week in 2019. COVID-19 deaths continue to be reported but represent only a small proportion of the overall total. There is no suggestion of an upward trend that might cause a wave, but if we look at the regional data then this picture varies significantly.

Leicester is in lockdown because of a regional spike and we can expect further regional spikes and lockdowns. This may be effective at reducing the chance of a large second wave but may imply COVID-19 will remain with us for some time albeit at lower levels; something statisticians call a ‘long tail’.

The XPS COVID-19 Tracker is predicting such a pattern for the next two statistical releases (see the grey bars). The grey shaded area represents the 2019 comparator.

COVID-19 is likely to remain prevalent until an effective vaccine is available. It is therefore crucial to understand pension scheme members’ vulnerability to the virus, especially if there is a spike in infections where your members live. This will inform decisions such as whether to use services like mortality screening or model various economic outcomes which could impact mortality rates.



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